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Never to bow but to be cut

Dr Shazia Marri: Information & Broadcasting Minister of Sindh Government

We salute you for  your bravery;  you wrote nothing but truth;  we salute you for your unwavering austerity for freedom of speech.

Flogging is a diminutive thing for us, for freedom of speech and journalistic ethics we could give away our lives; said the veteran journalist Mr. Iqbal Jafri. Sindh Information Minister Shazia Marri said that journalism was a sacred profession where one shouldn’t discriminate or provide one’s own opinion. The Minister was the chief guest at a function organized by the Karachi Union of Journalists at the Karachi Press Club on Monday to pay tribute to their senior colleagues Iqbal Jafri, Masoodullah Khan, Khawar Naeem and Nasir Kazmi, who were punished and flogged during Gen. Ziaul Haq’s martial law on 13th of May 1978 during their struggle for the freedom of the press.

Acknowledging their resolute efforts and paying rich tribute to all soldiers of the freedom of the press, the minister said: I am witnessing history and proud to be part of this gathering.

She said that her belief in freedom was further strengthened by hearing the views of the journalists at the function as no one could deprive the country of its freedom and democratic institutions for which the PPP leadership, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and their soldiers had laid down their lives.

“The renowned PPP leader Taj Haider also shared his views on the occasion saying no one asks the graves of those dictators but everyone salutes these brave journalists.”
She said the Pakistan People’s Party will continue to defend democracy and support people who are striving for the freedom of expression and against the forces of darkness.

Shazia Marri further said that they proved that their heads could be cut but not bowed in front of any dictator. We salute their bravery. They wrote nothing but truth.

The senior journalists Iqbal Jafri, Nasir Kazmi, Khawar Naeem Hashmi, and Masoodullah Khan shared, at the occasion, about their struggle during which they were not only sentenced to prison but also fined and flogged by military courts.

Iqbal Jaffri said, ‘Today our heads are not hanging in shame but are high in proud that we were punished for our writing, and we were labeled as agents of different agencies.
Pakistan People’s Party will continue to defend democracy and support people who are striving for the freedom of expression and against the forces of darkness.
Nasir Zaidi said that they struggled for the upholding the freedom of speech as given to every country of the world and stood the test of times. He further said that all kinds of struggles in Pakistan were launched from the platform of KUJ.

Masoodullah Khan said that Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists’ history should be well known to new journalists and they must be given training and skills by their seniors.

The renowned PPP leader Taj Haider also shared his views on the occasion saying no one asks the graves of those dictators but everyone salutes these brave journalists.

KUJ president G.M. Jamali and others also spoke at the occasion.

By: Saeed Memon

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