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Demand of protesting journalists accepted

16 June, 2011

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ISLAMABAD: Government has accepted the demand of journalists and appointed a sitting judge of the Supreme Court Justice Saqib Nisar to head the commission for the investigation of the murder of journalist Saleem Shehzad, our sources reported.

Federal Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on early Thursday development announced that the government has accepted the demand of journalists and announced that Justice Saqib Nisar will now head the commission.

Dr Firdous said that Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has signed the summary to appoint Justice Saqib Nisar as the head of the commission.

Journalists had boycotted the National Assembly and Senate sessions on Wednesday and launched a 24-hour sit-in in front of the Parliament House to protest the killing of Shehzad.

However, after the announcement by Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan the protesting media personnel decided to end the sit-in which was planned to continue till 4pm on Thursday.

Earlier, Journalists from all parts of the country, including Tribal Areas, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir, on Wednesday, held a sit-in in front of the Punjab Assembly to protest the murder of journalist Saleem Shahzad, and demanded the government to identify his assassin(s).

The protesting journalists rejected a government decision to put Federal Shariat Court Chief Justice Agha Rafiq in charge of the inquiry into the journalistís murder, calling instead for a commission under a Supreme Court judge.

The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists warned that journalists would be compelled to announce their future course of action should the government failed to take a decision in this respect by 4pm on Thursday.

No consensus could be reached as the protesting journalists rejected an offer by Firdaus Ashiq Awan and Farahnaz Ispahani to make a judicial commission under a high court judge. The government team assured them that the matter would be taken up with the president and prime minister and they (journalists) would be informed accordingly.

End.

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