Karachi Press Club ready to settle feud with civil society activist

KARACHI: The Karachi Press Club (KPC) was willing to resolve the controversy sparked by a dispute with a lawyer and a civil society activist which resulted in the imposition of a ban on entering the club, on the condition that rather, the lawyer’s representatives go to the KPC officials. than using pressure tactics.

So said CPK President Fazil Jamili about the outcry in civil society circles over the ban imposed on lawyer Jibran Nasir.

Talk to Dawn, Mr. Jamili said: “The problem with Jibran Nasir could have been solved earlier if Mr. Nasir had approached the KPC or just me, its chairman, to explain his point of view. We have our own grievances with him that he should also have had the patience to listen to, just as I would have patiently listened to him.

“The action taken by KPC against Jibran Nasir was taken after listening to our members’ complaints about him. It was a problem that needed to be solved,” he said, adding: “We are also not happy with what happened. But instead of sitting down to settle the matter, Mr. Nasir complicated it by dragging civil society etc. If we had wanted to, we could also have taken this issue to the journalists’ unions to form our own pressure group, but things don’t work out like that.

He recalled that the CPK had repeatedly imposed restrictions on people, including its own senior officials, but that these restrictions had also been reviewed and lifted after the person in question apologized and explained his position.

Meanwhile, in a statement, civil society organizations said lawyer Nasir was a person “of great integrity who has always upheld the principles of truth and justice”.

“Press clubs are places of democratic expression and debate for legitimate causes. By guarding the doors and excluding the progressive voices of disenfranchised spokespersons, the KPC turns into a ghetto of censorship and civil rights silence. The [KPC] the president must review the principles of freedom and extend respect to citizens such as Jibran Nasir,” he said.

Also on Wednesday, the Sindh High Court Bar Association called on the KPC to ask some of its members to limit themselves to “responsible reporting” and to “refrain from threatening lawyers acting in the exercise of their professional duties”.

Posted in Dawn, August 4, 2022

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