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Karachi Press Club; hope for distress people

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In an old Victorian-style beautiful bungalow a group of journalists gathered and discussing on different topics, outside this old beautiful building some people taking placards, banners and chanting slogans for fulfillment of their demands, a group of people has also seemed busy in their hunger strike camp and a board at the corner of this old building’s wall is reads it as Karachi Press Club.

Every day I see many hopeless people come at Karachi Press Club (KPC) from different districts of Sindh an attempt to get justice with high hopes that those inside this building will hear their voices and help to resolve their issues.

Sometimes I see the many families come at KPC and protest for recovery of their missing family members, sometimes disable persons seemed to do protest for their rights, social, political activist even people belongs every community came at KPC with high hopes for getting justice and they believe that journalist of KPC will report / cover their issues and one day their issues will resolve then they will go back to their homes.

The KPC is one of the Press Club of Pakistan where the largest number of protests and demonstrations recorded daily.

When KPC founded? “In 1956 the building of KPC was the residence place of ADC governor-general of Pakistan and offices of the newspapers was nearby the ADC house so after free from their workplaces a group of journalists was gathered daily at that place.

When capital was transferred, the posting of ADC was also transferring then these journalist urges to ADC that we are sitting here regularly and you are going so please arrange this place for us than we can come here easily and then ADC arranged this place for journalists”, said Maqsood Yousufi, a senior journalist and member of KPC.

“In 1957 group of journalists decided to give the formal shape of press club to this building and then in December 1958, they established KPC as a first Press Club of Pakistan and the Iqbal Hassan Burney was the first President of the KPC and today more than 1800 journalist of print and electronic media are the member of the KPC”, he added.

The KPC is at Karachiies’ main sadder town’s Sarwar Shaheed Road, Karachi and previously called is “Ingle Road”.

Role of KPC for Democracy

The political activities of KPC and interaction with political parties started after 1960 when was the ban on freedom expression political activities then journalists of KPC invited political parties at KPC given them a platform in the shape of press conference, meetings and meet the press through this they can express their thought about political scenario and other activities easily.

Even today the Meet the Press is a prominent event of KPC, in which political parties leaders are invited to brief the media about their activities.

There are many renewed political parties leaders visited KPC.

Former President of Pakistan Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto visited press club in 1969 and addressed to journalists.

Late Peer Paghara has visited the club in 1971 and Muhatarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed also visited KPC in 1986. KPC always plays a significant role in the democratic struggle even KPC had played an important role in the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy (MRD).

MRD was a movement that began in 1983 against the Ziaul Haq dictatorship. ”KPC was attacked several times but it is rule of KPC that they do not take any legal action against anyone.

The first time in the history of journalism, over 200 KPC members and journalists were arrested on Nov 4, 2007, when they had protested outside the KPC against the emergency declared by the then President Pervaiz Musharraf on November 3, 2007”, Yousufi said.

Membership and Election of KPC There are three categories of membership of KPC, one is Council member, only working journalist those source of income is only on journalism are eligible for council membership, second one is associate member, those who are Public Relation Officer (PRO) or marketing managers who deal with media they can get associate membership and last one is honorary membership, it is recognized by KPC to notable personalities of Pakistan who did something for this country such as Prince Karim Aga Khan, scientist and Nobel laureate Prof. Dr. Abdus Salam, Prof. Dr. Saleemuzzaman Siddiqui, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Alys Faiz, Habib Jalib, Ahmed Faraz, Josh Maleehabadi, Jahangir Khan, Javed Miandad, Imran Khan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Air Marshal (Retd.) Noor Khan. But only council members have voting right in KPC annual elections.

The KPC has been holding elections every year in December setting an example that it firmly believes in democracy. Members elect 12 members in the direct vote and these elected members form a governing body.

Among 12 members five are the office bearers President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Joint Secretary. For this year KPC held its annual election on December 28, 2019.

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