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Journalists boycott Senate session

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KABUL – Foreign and local journalists on Sunday announced a boycott of Senate sessions in protest against disregarding their proposals about the procedure of questioning summoned officials. The journalists proposed summoned ministers and government officials be allowed to speak before they were asked questions to enable reporters to have clarity on house proceedings.

They suggested the upper house should follow Wolesi Jirga in questioning summoned officials to help journalists get a sense of the issues involved. The boycott came when urban development minister, deputy Kabul mayor and the canalisation chief were in the house to answer questions from senators.

As the Senate got down to business at 10:30, it was around 11:30 when first deputy speaker Mohammad Alam Ezedyar asked Secretary Azizullah Ulfati how many senators wanted to ask questions. Ulfati replied 10 senators had asked questions and another 25 wanted to grill the officials summoned.

The protesting journalists were briefly blocked by administrative board officials, who promised their demands would be considered. But the reporters walked out. Killid Radio reporter Fazal Hadi Hamidi told Pajhwok Afghan News Senate sessions were often unduly prolonged, making it difficult for journalists to find important details.

He said they had decided to continue their protest until their demands were met by the Meshrano Jirga. Mohseni, who works for Khurshid TV, said they should have boycotted the Senate long before. “Senators keep asking questions of invited guests for so many hours and make them confused,” he alleged. (PAN)

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