Journalists continue protest outside DI Khan Press Club

Bushra Mehsud and Rizwan Mehsud

DI KHAN: The action committee of working journalists in Dera Ismail Khan on Friday continued protest in front of the press club building against non-acceptance of their demands.

The protest by local journalists against the press club administration is continuing for the last four months. Every Friday, about 35 protesters gather outside the press club and chant slogans in favour of their demands. They are also boycotting all the activities at the press club.

On Friday, the protesting journalists said they hold Master’s degree in Journalism and also have professional experience, but the press club administration was not willing to give them membership. They said they have been kept deprived of the membership and other facilities in the press club which is unjust. They said they will continue their protest till fulfilment of their demands.

The protesting media persons alleged that a certain group has taken over the press club who are even not professional journalists. They alleged that there are many non-professional members at the press club enjoying all facilities, while the real professional journalists are kept deprived. They said the entry of six journalists, who chanted slogans against the press club president Yasin Qureshi, has been banned. They said the journalists are being punished for demanding their rights from the press club president.

The protesters said their agitation will continue till lifting of ban on the entry of journalists and granting them full membership. They also demanded the government authorities to stay neutral and don’t take sides with any group of journalists.

The action committee members said the protest will not end until the last five years audit of the press club affairs. They said that some vested interests were protecting the existing leadership of DI Khan Press Club to hide their own inefficiencies.

The protest by working journalists lost momentum recently after the press club administration announced a team for holding talks with the action committee. However, various issues between the two groups remained unresolved and now the protest has again gathered pace. The number of protesting journalists has also increased. Now the protesting media persons have made it clear that they will not end protest till resolution of the audit and membership issue.