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Islamabad May 2, 2021: On eve of the international press freedom day on Monday the PPP calls for legislation to end impunity of crimes against journalists and an end to visible and invisible manipulations to control media content on various pretexts, said the secretary general of PPPP in a statement today..

“In addition to the usual threats of murder, physical assault and abduction of media personnel we are also witnessing control of media content in the name of national security and 5 G war. It is a measure of the courage and resilience of our media persons to continue working under these stressful conditions which the Party acknowledges”

It is time to set up a bipartisan Parliamentary Committee on ‘Freedom of Expression’, he said.

The media content is being controlled through remote manipulation, sackings of journalists, self censorship and gross misuse of Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act 2016, he said.

Blatantly disregarding the law the investigation agency namely FIA has refused to place before Houses of Parliament its six monthly reports. There is a need for the accountability of the investigation agency as well as amendment to PECA 2016 in consultation with all stakeholders.

“The international press freedom day this year coincides with the tenth anniversary of taking out Osama bin Laden from his hideout. It is also being observed at a time of introspection and calls by the high and mighty in Pakistan for making the country a ‘normal’ state”.

Isn’t the international press freedom day this year an apt occasion to publish the Abbottabad Commission report to achieve the objective of normality, he asked?

The world is not conspiring against us, we are conspiring against ourselves, he said.

Next to the right to life the most important right is the right to freedom of expression and association as all other rights flowed from it. This right is denied by some holding guns in their hands and by some others carrying religious books on their heads, he said.

Freedom of speech is a constitutionally guaranteed right under Article 19.  It is a fundamental right of every citizen, not only of journalists.

Recalling that in the Faiz abad dharna case Justice Qazi Faez Isa gave some directions with respect to media freedoms he said that instead of implementing them a reference was filed against him and called for the implementation of the SC verdict.