Washington, Oct 1: A Washington-based group of Pakistani journalists, writers and professionals has condemned the use of force by police on lawyers, journalists and other civil society representatives on Saturday in Islamabad.
“Our hearts go out to the affected journalists and lawyers and their families. We pledge to do everything within our means to internationalise the cause of Pakistani journalists facing pressure from an unpopular military-led government," the Washington Policy Analysis Group said.Terming the police attack as an unprovoked step, the group added, “The journalists were only doing their job, covering clashes between lawyers and security forces. The lawyers were demonstrating peacefully as well."
The decision to block the transmission of some TV channels was another assault on freedom of the press, it said.
They were protesting against the Supreme Court"s decision that allowed President Pervez Muhsarraf to contest the October 6 presidential elections in uniform.
Journalists and prominent lawyers were targeted with the intent to silence them, the Daily Times quoted the group, as saying.
Demanding an independent judicial probe into it by a committee named by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, the group said, “The inquiry ordered by Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz into violence by security forces will have no credibility."