AHMEDPUR EAST: The Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP) demanded the federal government to amend the draft bill on safety of journalists before legislation as it contained serious flaws.

The RMNP demanded this in a unanimous resolution passed during the concluding ceremony of two-day workshop titled 'Safety of Journalists Training Workshop' here the other day. The workshop was organized by the RMNP in collaboration with DCMF.

RMNP President Ehsan Ahmed Sehar presided over the concluding ceremony. Uch Sharif Tehsil Municipal Committee Chairman Makhdoom Syed Sabtain Haider Bukhari was the chief guest. The participants demanded that the government should include civil society organisations and media persons in initiatives to legislate against attacks on journalists.

In another resolution, they demanded the government appoint public prosecutors in federal capital Islamabad and all four provincial capitals for the prosecution of murder cases of journalists. They also demanded the provision of the blood money to the heirs of the journalists murdered in the line of duty.

Journalists belonging to the remote areas expressed deep concerns over murder of former Sambrial Press Club chairman Zeeshan Butt at the hands of a union council chairman. They demanded the Punjab government give Rs2 million to his heirs. They praised Chief Justice Pakistan Saqib Nisar for constituting a two-member bench for hearing of murder case of Zeeshan Butt.

Addressing the ceremony, Uch Sharif TMC Chairman Sabtain Haider threw light on the importance and role of vibrant media in Pakistan. He also extended best wishes for the newcomers in the profession and urged the RNMP to organise training sessions for them. Later, he distributed certificates to 19 correspondents including two lady reporters.

Prof Sajjad Paracha, Chairman Media Studies Department, Islamia University Bahawalpur and Nasar Hameed, Deputy Director Information Bahawalpur also addressed the ceremony.