PPF condemns misbehavior of sitting KP minister with Geo News reporter Rasool Dawar
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) condemns the misbehavior of a sitting minister in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province with Geo News reporter Rasool Dawar. It is condemnable that Dawar received death threats and abuse in response to a request for comment on a story.
Speaking to PPF, Dawar said that on December 23 he was informed by his assignment editor Shakeel Farman that he had to cover a story on an incident which happened in the office of the director general of a local government where Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister For Relief, Rehabilitation and Settlement Iqbal Wazir Iqbal Wazir had allegedly harassed the staff of the Dirctor General.
“I messaged Iqbal Wazir for his stance on the incident and [on] harassing the staff of the local Director General Hayyatabad. Around 11:39pm I texted him, and around 12:16am he called me and threatened me for asking him the question,” he explained.
“He threatened me and said that you did this in the past as well and you are harassing me again on a Whatsapp message, I will kill you and I will sue your organization as well for reporting irrelevant incidents.”
Farman said that he had assigned the story to Dawar, adding that there was no update yet from the Federal Investigation Agency Crime WhatsApp Agency on the incident.
In a statement issued on December 24, the Khyber Union of Journalists (KHUJ) President Nasir Hussain, Senior Vice President Imran Ayaz and General Secretary Imran Yousafzai condemned the incident.
The KHUJ demanded that KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan take notice of the incident. Representatives of the KHUJ said that a journalist is required to get both versions of events for a story and if someone doesn’t want to comment, there are more civil ways to respond. They added that the degrading manner in which the minister had responded would not at all be accepted.
Peshawar Press Club general secretary Shahzada Fahad told PPF said Iqbal had misbehaved with Dawar and threatened him, Fahad said, condemning the incident on Peshawar Press Club’s behalf.
PPF joins the KPUJ and the Peshawar Press Club in condemning the incident and calls upon the KP chief minister to ensure that his cabinet members do not behave in such ways so as to attack journalists and to ensure that they are able to do their work safely.