NPC president bars Sheikh Rashid from entering club for insulting an ailing journalist

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Journalists habitually do such dramas, says Minister

Zubair Qureshi

National Press Club (NPC) President Shakeel Qarar on Tuesday placed a temporary ban on the entry and coverage of Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rashid Ahmed in the National Press Club Islamabad and Rawalpindi premises after he allegedly used “insulting” language for a private TV’s video journalist who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
The decision has been taken after NPC President Shakeel Qarar met the private TV video journalist Nasir in Benazir Bhutto Hospital in Rawalpindi. Nasir is receiving treatment for cancer.
While talking to Pakistan Observer on Tuesday President NPC Shakeel Qarar said the journalist informed him about the railways minister’s arrogant attitude when he visited the hospital recently.
“Nasir told me that during a recent visit to the hospital by Rashid, a local journalist directed the minister’s attention towards Nasir’s illness and suggested he should visit and inquire about his health as well.
At this, the railways minister dismissed the idea uttering insulting sentences which deeply hurt Nasir’s sentiments”, Qarar said.
When asked what exactly, were his words, he said the minister said “Leave him, journalists habitually do such dramas.”
The words are so offensive that too by a sitting member of the cabinet that Prime Minister Imran Khan should take notice of this, further said Shakeel Qarar. On our part, we have decided to place a ban on Rashid’s coverage in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and on his entry in NPC Islamabad and the Rawalpindi Camp Office for a week, he said.
In order to get Minister for Railways’ response to these allegations, this correspondent made a number of phone calls but got no reply. A message was also dropped on his number but to no avail.
After the insensitive words of Sh Rashid the press club has appealed to reporters, video and photojournalists to follow the prohibition and also requested press clubs across the country to ban Rashid’s entry for seven days, he further said.