November 13th, 2021
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) on Friday announced that it is conferring the Nisar Osmani Award for Courage Journalism in 2021 to the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ).
“The PFUJ has been an indispensable force in resisting the rising coercive regime of censorship,” Hina Jilani, chairperson of HRCP, said in her announcement of the annual award. She said the HRCP had invited Shahzada Zulfiqar and Nasir Zaidi, president and secretary general of the PFUJ, to receive the award on Saturday at a ceremony in the HRCP office in Lahore. Apart of being a journalist Nisar Osmani was also a founding member of the HRCP.
Speaking to Voicepk.net, Zaidi thanked HRCP for bestowing the PFUJ with Nisar Osmani Award for Courage in Journalism 2021. The award was an honour for the PFUJ, he said. “Since its inception, the PFUJ has struggled for the freedom of the press and the right of freedom of expression,” Zaidi said.
He said the PFUJ would continue its struggle as today journalists were faced with increasing pressure from the establishment, the government, and other forces. “There is an onslaught on the media and thousands of media workers were jobless due to the media crisis,” he added.
Zaidi lamented that freedom of expression no longer existed in the country. “There are efforts afoot to control social media, print and electronic media” he warned.
“This is an important day for the PFUJ and media workers as HRCP has recognized our struggle for the freedom of expression in the country,” he said.
Zaidi said the PFUJ, on the occasion of the conferment of the award, pledged the continuation of the struggle for the rule of democracy and the freedom of the press.