Journalists protest against the closure of the Quetta Press Club: Photo Manan Mandokhail

Staff Reporter:

QUETTA: In response to the abrupt closure of the Quetta Press Club, the journalist community in Quetta staged a walk-out from the Assembly session. The protest concluded after Chief Minister Balochistan, Mir Sarfaraz Bugti, provided assurances to address their concerns.

The unexpected lockdown of the press club deeply troubled the journalists, prompting the protest. A 4-point charter of demands was subsequently presented to the Chief Minister by key journalist community figures, including Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) President Khalil Ahmed, General Secretary Abdul Shakoor, Press Club President Abdul Khaliq Rind, and other senior journalists.

Action To Be Taken Against Responsible Persons: CM Bugti

Press Club President Abdul Khaliq Rind emphasized the journalists’ firm stance, stating, “Until our demands are accepted, the protest will continue.” He further noted that Chief Minister Bugti assured action against those responsible for the press club’s closure.

Chief Minister Bugti expressed regret over the incident, describing the closure as unintentional and unfortunate. “The closure of the press club is sad,” he remarked, recognizing the press club’s vital role in society. To address the issue, the Chief Minister has established a committee to investigate the circumstances of the lockdown and address the journalists’ concerns.

“We Believe In Freedom Of The Press”, CM Bugti Assured

In his address to the Balochistan Assembly, Chief Minister Bugti reaffirmed his commitment to resolving the issue, stating, “We believe in the freedom of the press.” He assured that measures would be taken to prevent such incidents in the future and thanked the journalists for ending their walk-out.

BUJ President Khalil Ahmed, while acknowledging the Chief Minister’s efforts, indicated that the BUJ and the Press Club would continue their nationwide protest until all their demands are fully met. He asserted that the BUJ would not remain silent on the matter.

This development underscores the ongoing dialogue between the government and the press in Balochistan, highlighting the importance of press freedom and the need for transparent communication between journalists and state officials.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.