The International Association of Pakistan-Afghanistan Journalists (IAPAJ) commenced its activities in the capital city of Islamabad in March by distributing ‘Press ID Cards’ to exiled Afghan Journalists currently residing in Pakistan.
The initiative was taken by a number of Afghan journalists currently residing in Pakistan in cooperation with the Pakistan National Press Club.
The IAPAJ started its activities by distributing journalist identity cards to a number of exiled Afghan journalists and media workers. Afghan journalists say the ID cards they received from Pakistan-Afghanistan Journalist Association has provided them with certain facilities.
“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 said, Voice of America reported.
Furthermore, those journalists and media workers holding these ID cards will benefit from free medical care in certain Pakistani hospitals.
Since March, the IAAPJ has distributed ID cards to some 150 journalists and media workers from Afghanistan and will 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.
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.
Zia Bomya, Secretary General of IAPAJ stated that efforts are ongoing with relevant Pakistani authorities regarding refugees to address the many challenges of exiled Afghan journalists with the United Nations Higher Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), to facilitate the transfer of those journalists whose asylum applications are in process to third countries.