Pakistan Press Foundation condemns smear campaign against journalists in Pakistan’s post-election turmoil

Image

Islamabad: The Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) strongly denounces the targeted smear campaign on social media against journalists in the aftermath of their reporting on Pakistan’s recent general elections. This campaign is characterized by a deluge of abusive, offensive, and vulgar comments.

The PPF is alarmed by the intensification of cyberbullying tactics, particularly against female journalists, in the wake of electoral frustrations expressed by political entities. The online platforms, which should serve as spaces for free expression and democratic debate, are marred by harassment and intimidation. Such actions directly threaten the principles of press freedom and the safety of media personnel.

We urge all political parties and their leadership to denounce and curb such harassment campaigns against journalists unequivocally. It is imperative that a civil discourse be maintained and any disagreements with journalistic content be addressed respectfully and constructively.

In solidarity with journalists facing harassment and intimidation, we demand that relevant authorities ensure their safety and hold the perpetrators accountable. Immediate and decisive measures must be taken against those responsible for these reprehensible actions to prevent recurrence. Journalists’ safety and their right to report without fear must be upheld at all times.

In the wake of ARY News anchorperson Meher Bukhari’s tweet regarding Rana Sanaullah Khan, a leader of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N), over fifty social media users have launched a barrage of attacks against the anchor. The onslaught includes a disturbing mix of vulgar and sexist comments alongside manipulated images and videos aimed at discrediting Bukhari. This digital aggression unfolded shortly after the PML-N announced on February 11th that Waseem Qadir, an independent victor from the National Assembly Constituency NA-121 Lahore, had officially joined their ranks on their official X (formerly Twitter) account.

Bukhari’s engagement in this political discourse began with her retweet of a message underscoring the value of personal dignity over loyalty to the vote. This action drew attention and was followed by a controversial move from the X account previously associated with Rana Sanaullah, now identified as @PresPMLNPunjab, which shared an old interview clip hinting at Bukhari’s involvement in media manipulation. In retaliation, Bukhari posted, and later deleted, older images of Rana post-kidnapping with a provocative caption about his electoral defeat. This exchange ignited a firestorm of criticism from PML-N supporters, who labeled Bukhari a “paid anchor” and escalated their attacks with invasive and offensive content.

Saddia Mazhar, the editor of The Reporters. pk, became the target of a severe online attack. Mazhar told PPF that her lighthearted tweet regarding the ongoing consultations between the PML-N and the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) – sparked by news of discussions about forming a coalition government – led to a torrent of abusive messages on X. She reported that numerous accounts bombarded her with offensive and vulgar tweets, aggressively retweeting her posts. Despite her efforts to block these accounts, Mazhar continues to be plagued by a relentless influx of abusive messages.

Amir Mateen, the anchorperson for 92 News, has recently been subjected to hateful comments following his tweets critiquing the political landscape and the PML-N’s moves. In his posts, Mateen criticized the party for incorporating independent candidates and shared older videos of the party’s Chief Organizer, Maryam Nawaz Sharif, in which she can be heard against party switchers. These remarks sparked a wave of abusive comments directed against him.

Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has expressed deep concern over an organized campaign of character assassination and threats directed at senior journalists Meher Bukhari of ARY News and Amir Mateen of 92 News by elements allegedly associated with the PML-N on social media and demanding immediate action from the leadership of the party.

You May Also Like

Image

Sardar Zarif is resting comfortably at Rehab Center: Dr. Fai

Washington, D.C.: Sardar Zarif Khan, Advisor to the President of Azad Kashmir and founding Chairman of ‘Kashmir American Welfare Society&rsqu

Image

PPF alarmed by the brutal murder of journalist Khalil Jibran in KP’s Khyber district; urges a swift and effective investigation

Islamabad: Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) is alarmed by the brutal murder of journalist Khalil Jibran on June 18 in the Landi Kotal tehsil of Khyb

Image

Advocating for Homeowners: Clackmannanshire Council's desire for Fair Valuations for Homes Facing Demolition. By Wilson Chowdhry

On Friday, June 7th, Mr. Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the UK RAAC Campaign Group, held a video conference with three senior officers of Clackmannan

"Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" By Nazir S Bhatti

On demand of our readers, I have decided to release E-Book version of "Trial of Pakistani Christian Nation" on website of PCP which can also be viewed on website of Pakistan Christian Congress www.pakistanchristiancongress.org . You can read chapter wise by clicking tab on left handside of PDF format of E-Book.

nazirbhattipcc@aol.com , pakistanchristianpost@yahoo.com