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Publishers, unions express concern over government pressure on country's largest media group

(PPF/IFEX) - The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) have taken serious notice of the ongoing pressures being exerted by the government and leaders of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on the Jang Group and strongly reiterate their resolve to support the group against any repressive actions by the government.

In a letter, the APNS, the organisation representing publishers, said it had undertaken steps to safeguard the interests of the Jang Group with due consultation with the group. The APNS strongly reiterated its resolve to support its member publications against any action by the government or other segments designed to curb freedom of the press.

The PFUJ has also taken notice of the ongoing tussle and has appealed to the government and media groups to take into account the prevailing situation in the country where state organs as well as the media are under attack by terrorists.

In a statement, the PFUJ said that it was high time that such a tense situation be resolved with prudence in view of the precarious situation in the country. The PFUJ made it clear that any attempt to victimise the group would be taken very seriously.

The PFUJ noted with concern that attempts were afoot to financially cripple the Jang Group, Pakistan's largest media conglomerate. The PFUJ observed that such tactics have never worked in the past and would not only damage the government's credibility, but would also jeopardise the livelihoods of thousands of workers associated with the Jang Group, either directly or indirectly.

The PFUJ has asked the government to accept media criticism with an open heart, which would help improve governance, accountability, transparency and the socio-economic situation in the country.

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