Pakistan Women Journalists Association demands EVMs for 2022 AFN elections


ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Pakistan Women Journalists Association (WJA) has called on the federal government to hold the upcoming National Press Club (NPC) elections using electronic voting machines (EVMs) to ensure transparency.

The demand was raised when the head of the Pakistan Women Journalists Association and former AFN co-secretary Fauzia Kulsoom Rana met with Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain as well as a five-member delegation of video journalists in Islamabad on Friday.

Addressing Minister Fauzia Kulsoom Rana said journalists, who are the most conscious section of society, have reservations about the transparency and freedom of elections of their respective unions, including the AFN.

The Minister was informed that photo and video journalists and electronic media producers working in news and current affairs are considered journalists all over the world.

The federal minister said the government was urgently amending the 2021 Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill to reintroduce them into the category of journalists.

Fauzia Rana said that we are in the age of electronic media and information technology, and journalism is heavily dependent on digital devices, so the future belongs to digital journalism.

The WJA chief demanded that all candidates running for National Press Club elections declare their assets and file income tax returns.

Fauzia Rana said influential political leaders like Maryam Nawaz and Pervez Rashid of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), who use journalists as a tool for their political agenda and on the other hand undermine their self-esteem. itself, should be held accountable.

The alleged audio leaks are reprehensible, which has sparked concern among working journalists, she added.

The WJA chief added that if Maryam Nawaz wanted to run the Pakistani media in the style of the PML-N media cell with the intention of carrying out her anti-state rhetoric, it was now impossible.

Fauzia Kulsoom Rana said those who chanted journalism freedom mantras are themselves the greatest weapons in stifling the press and media. She said it was time to end the monopoly of the grandfather group, which occupies high positions in the AFN using corruption and blackmail as tools.

Former President of Video Journalists Association Syed Shaheen Gardezi, Financial Secretary of Video Journalists Association Mohammad Jameel Awan, Senior Vice President Faisal Masood Khan, Senior Members Abdul Rafi, Khalid Shah, Gul Khan and Majid Khan were also present on the occasion.

The delegation also informed the Minister of Information of the difficult conditions in which the cameramen exercise their functions.

The Minister of Information ensured amendments to the 2021 bill on the protection of journalists and media professionals, in addition to providing health cards to journalists.

Fauzia Kulsoom Rana said that photojournalists, video journalists and producers of news and current affairs departments of various news houses play a key role in the media and that no group can usurp their rights.

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