The National Press Club (NPC) temporarily bans the entry and coverage of Sheikh Rashid, Federal Minister for Railways, in its premises after he used “insulting” language for a journalist who is undergoing treatment for cancer.
NPC President Shakeel Qarar decided after he met private news channel’s video journalist Nasir, who is undergoing treatment for cancer at Benazir Bhutto Hospital in Rawalpindi, a press release shared by the press club said.
It stated Nasir had informed Qarar that during a recent visit to the hospital by Rashid, a local journalist had directed the minister’s attention towards Nasir’s illness. At this, the railway’s minister “uttered insulting sentences which deeply hurt Nasir’s sentiments”, the press release added.
After the meeting, it was decided to place a ban on the coverage of Rashid in Rawalpindi and Islamabad and also on his entry in NPC Islamabad and the Rawalpindi camp office for a week, according to the statement.
While the NPC did not reveal Rashid’s exact words, it condemned what it termed the minister’s use of “insulting remarks for a video journalist fighting the battle for survival”.
The press club appealed to the reporters, video, and photojournalists to follow the prohibition and also requested press clubs across the country to bar Rashid’s entry for seven days.
It is not the first time Shaikh Rashid has been accused of using foul or uncalled for language, he has previously referred to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari as “Sahiba” and the PM’s Special Assistant for Information Firdous Ashiq Awan as “sahab”.