South Asia Notes

Fatwa on Pakistan journalists: Scribes’ body demands action

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has demanded action against Taj Mohammad Wazeer, a former leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), an Islamist political party, for issuing a fatwa against journalists in his country for not covering a protest rally that he held.
Apr 13, 2019
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BRUSSELS: The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has demanded action against Taj Mohammad Wazeer, a former leader of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), an Islamist political party, for issuing a fatwa against journalists in his country for not covering a protest rally that he held.
 
“This fatwa is an outrageous attack on the safety of Pakistan’s media and those working in the increasingly volatile area of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” the IFJ said in a statement.
 
Wazeer, who is also a former of the National Assembly, made the announcement at the rally April 8 attended by hundreds of people in South Warizistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.  
 
“The media has not come to cover this protest because it is against of the government and the army,” media reports quoted him as saying.
 
“Snatch the cameras, mobiles and all other devices from them and declare jihad against them.”
 
He also said that he has ordered journalists in Wana to be killed and that he would take responsibility for this action.
 
A fatwa is a ruling on a point of Islamic law, usually given by a recognised authority.
 
In its statement, the IFJ, citing its own figures, said that “Pakistan’s media remains under threat with journalists killed, abducted, attacked and threatened all too often”.
 
“We demand immediate action from the Pakistan government to ensure the safety of the media and the culture of impunity for threats and attacks on the media in Pakistan,” it stated.
 
IFJ figures show that Pakistan remains one of the deadliest countries in the world, with 17 journalists and media workers killed since 2015.
 
According to the statement, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has shown extreme concern regarding these threats against the journalists of Wana.
 
It has asked the government to take immediate actions against these threats to the journalists and also asked the JI’s leadership to take immediate notice and action against these threats given by a senior member of their party.
 
PFUJ leaders said that the JI will be held responsible if any journalist is hurt or killed due to this fatwa.
 
Meanwhile, the JI has issued a statement to the media stating that the current JI leader Sirajul Haq is planning to visit the press club in Wana to investigate this issue.
 

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