Heartwarming news coming from Islamabad where Pakistani journalists are joining hands and supporting their Afghan counterparts.
The International Association of Pakistan-Afghanistan Journalists (IAPAJ) is making waves in the journalism community by taking action to help exiled Afghan journalists.
The International Association of Pakistan-Afghanistan Journalists (IAPAJ) is a joint ventrue of Afghan journalists who find themselves in exile and the Pakistan National Press Club. The Association officialy commenced their operations on Saturday, 7 May 2023, in Islamabad. After brief remarks by leaders of the association, participants were issued special ‘Press ID Cards’ in a move to provide some semblance of credibility to the many Afghan journalists
According to media sources, the IAPAJ distributed journalist identity cards to over 150 Afghan journalists and media workers who are currently residing in Pakistan.
The initiative was in a move to provide some semblance of credibility to the many Afghan journalists currently in exile here in Pakistan. This was made possible with the cooperation of a number of Afghan journalists currently residing in Pakistan and members of the Pakistan National Press Club.
What’s so special about these ID cards, you may ask?
Well, besides confirming the identity of the cardholders, it also provides them with certain facilities such as the freedom to do their job and being safe from police harrasement.
“Besides confirming their identity, the holders of journalist ID cards will not be investigated by the police, and will be exempted from the police harassment,” Mujhgan Frajee, an Afghan journalist told Voice of America.
That’s right – Afghan journalists can now do their jobs freely in Pakistan without fear of persecution. And to top it off, the ID cardholders can also receive free medical care at certain Pakistani hospitals.
The IAPAJ begun distributing journalist identity cards to a number of exiled Afghan journalists and media workers in March this year. So far, they have given these special cards to around 150 Afghan journalists, while they plan to continue to distribute them to more journalists.
Qamar Yusufzai, former head of IAPAJ has told Voice of America they have distributed these ID cards in two separate programs, and the distribution process is ongoing.
Afghan journalists say the ID cards they received from Pakistan-Afghanistan Journalist Association has provided them with certain facilities.
But the Association isn’t stopping there. They’re currently working with relevant Pakistani authorities and the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to address the dire economic situations of exiled Afghan journalists.
In addition to these, exiled Afghan journalists are going through dire economic situations who fled the country after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. The association hopes to facilitate the transfer of those journalists whose asylum applications are in process to third countries.
Zia Bomya, Secretary General of IAPAJ said in a media statement that they trying to work with the concerned authorities in Pakistan regarding the problems being faced by Afghan refugees. He said that efforts are in place to address the many challenges of exiled Afghan journalists. He furhter revealed that IAPAJ are in talks with the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to facilitate the transfer of those journalists whose asylum applications are still in process to third countries.
We’re so inspired by the IAPAJ’s initiative to help their fellow journalists in need. Let’s hope this kind of positivity and kindness spreads far and wide!