A group of protesters entered the office of Geo News and Jang Media Group in Karachi on Sunday, vandalising property and attacking staff within the building.

More than 150 people gathered outside of the media group’s building yesterday in protest against a remark made by Irshad Bhatti, host of the comedy programme, ‘Khabarnaak’.

According to Dawn, a video from the show was later shared on social media, misconstruing Bhatti’s comments to suggest that he was disrespectful “about Sindh or Sindi language in his show.” He later issued a statement clarifying the incident and apologised for any misunderstanding.

Read more: Protesters vandalise Geo and Jang head office in Karachi, manhandle staff. (Dawn)

A recent report by Geo News revealed that at least 13 protesters had been arrested.

Geo News’ Managing Director, Azhar Abbas, tweeted, “Everyone has [the] right to peaceful protest. We will protect and support that right. But doing violence and taking the law into their own hands, regardless of the cause, can’t be tolerated…”

The attack took place only weeks after a Geo cameraman was assaulted while covering a murder case outside of a court in Islamabad. In recent months, journalists from the Urdu editions of the BBC and The Independent in Pakistan have also been the targets of online and offline attacks, including hate speech and death threats.

Meanwhile, Jang’s Editor-in-Chief, Mir Shakil Rahman, was indicted last month by an accountability court in Lahore over a decades-old case related to a land purchase.

The Public Media Alliance strongly condemns these unprecedented attacks on our member organisation. Such attacks on media workers are intolerable and we will continue to monitor and report on further developments.

Header Image: Cityscape of Lahore, Pakistan. Credit: pxhere/Creative Commons