LAHORE: Opposing the proposed restrictions on the social media, Jamaat-i-Islami Emir Senator Sirajul Haq said on Saturday the government wanted to take away the people’s right of expression through such measures.
In a statement, he said devising a code of ethics was necessary but clamping a ban on the social media and resorting to harsh steps on the basis of difference of opinion was not desirable and would be more of an exercise in self-defeat.
He said various steps adopted by the government against the print and the electronic media had already rendered hundreds of newsmen jobless. However, he said, depriving the people of their democratic right to criticise the government and register their protest was a dictatorial approach.
He said the laws of cyber crime control should not be misused. “When the government itself does not follow the laws, accepting the same from the general public is only self deception. If the masses demand a ban on the tweets of the ministers, the government would not have any answer. The media freedom is a requirement of the democratic system.”
The JI chief also impressed upon the journalists and their organisations to keep in mind the interest of the country. He said the journalist organisations should by themselves frame a code of ethics for the media and abide by it. He said violating ‘moral limitations’ in the name of the freedom of the media was totally unjustified.
Meanwhile, JI Secretary-General Liaquat Baloch said the PTI government had failed to come up to people’s expectations and added that the enforcement of the Islamic system was the only way to solve the problems facing the country.
Speaking at a workshop of the JI workers, he said the JI would carry out a mass contact campaign in March in order to create an awakening among the masses for the need of an Islamic system. During this drive, the JI members and workers would go from door to door and enlist the JI voters and supporters.
A workers conventions would be held in towns and cities which would be addressed by the JI leaders at the central, provincial and district level.
Published in Dawn, February 17th, 2019