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PTI show cause notice to Masroor Ali Siyal

27 June, 2019

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The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Wednesday issued a show cause notice to Masroor Ali Siyal, a leader of the PTI Sindh, for the “physical assault” of a journalist during a media talk show. A video had gone viral over the weekend of Siyal entering into an argument with Karachi Press Club (KPC) President Imtiaz Khan Faran during the taping of a talk show at a private TV channel. Siyal, who was seated next to Faran, is then seen standing up and shoving the KPC president off his seat and later hitting him. The scuffle is stopped with the intervention of the channel’s management. “Your behaviour has badly damaged the reputation of the party and created an uproar in the journalist community. You are hereby given a show cause notice to explain your position within 14 days of issuance of this letter, as to why action should not be taken against you in line with the party constitution,” says the notice handed to Siyal.

According to the notice, Siyal’s case had been referred to the Standing Committee for Accountability and Discipline for necessary action as he had violated the party discipline. Siyal’s membership to the party was also suspended with immediate effect until further orders. Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on Political Affairs Naeemul Haque in an early Wednesday tweet condemned the “violent reaction” of Siyal, saying, “This kind of behaviour is unacceptable in PTI and is totally unworthy of a PTI leader.” He announced that “strict disciplinary action” would be taken against Siyal. Meanwhile, the press clubs in Karachi and Lahore have placed a temporary ban on the entry of PTI leaders in their premises following the assault, it emerged on Wednesday. The governing body of the KPC had strongly condemned and expressed concern over the incident at an emergency meeting held at the press club on Tuesday. Members of the body wore black bands in protest against the “violence” carried out by the PTI leader. “The meeting felt that the series of incidents of organised violence against journalists and journalist bodies on part of the PTI proves that all of this is being done according to a well-thought-out policy,” a KPC press release had said.

The meeting decided to ban the entry of all PTI office-bearers in the KPC for three days. According to the handout, if the ruling party during these three days does not revoke the membership of Siyal and fails to apologise to Faran, the KPC will announce a strategy for protest against the PTI in consultation with other journalist bodies. The KPC governing body urged press clubs across the country to bar the entry of PTI leaders for three days in solidarity with the KPC president.

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