Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) is arguably South Asia’s first association representing the journalists of an entire country. To its credit, in the 50-odd years since its inception it has always stood out as a symbol of freedom of speech. The battles it waged for press freedom and for a democratic dispensation in the country will always remain etched in the collective memory of Pakistanis.
To this day, PFUJ remains committed to the ideals for which it was established in 1950. Set up primarily to work towards a better working environment for Pakistani journalists, it didn’t remain isolated from the struggles and campaigns launched by the civil society. In fact, it was in the vanguard whenever sacrifices needed to be made and freedoms were to be won.
PFUJ’s constitution was adopted at the Pakistan Working Journalists Convention, which was held in Karachi in April of 1950. Delegates from home as well as from abroad took part in the event which paved the ground for the establishment of PFUJ. The historic event was opened by the-then foreign minister of the country, Chaudhry Zaffarullah Khan.
The inauguration of the convention was witnessed by newsmen from the Delhi Union of Journalists, besides some federal ministers and members of the diplomatic corps. Prominent among the delegates participating in the deliberations were those belonging to the Sindh Union of Journalists and the Punjab Union of Journalists, thus earning the distinction of laying down PFUJ’s foundation.
The Frontier Union of Journalists, which couldn’t send a delegate in time, declared its willingness to accept the document adopted at the convention. The draft constitution had been drawn up by our senior colleagues belonging to the Sindh Union of Journalists.
According to one of its articles, PFUJ was to come into existence the very day its constitution was ratified by the last of its constituent bodies. This happened on Aug 2, 1950, thus opening a new chapter in the history of journalism in Pakistan.
As per its constitution, PFUJ was to work towards the betterment of the economic conditions of journalists. It was also tasked with the onerous responsibility of creating conditions in which the media could work without coercion and intimidation.
The envious position of PFUJ’s founding president was bestowed by its members on Mr M.A. Shakoor. And its first secretary-general was Mr Israr Ahmad.
For details about PFUJ’s long struggle for press freedom and for democracy see the “History” page.
Rana Muhammad Azeem and GM Jamli were elected president and general secretary respectively of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) 2017/2018