LAHORE: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has directed party leaders to adopt an aggressive, but polite policy in the media to convey “true facts” to the people.

He was chairing an online meeting of the party leadership from across the country to devise a media strategy. The meeting offered prayers for Dr Ayatollah Durrani, Murtaza Baloch, Dr Ijaz Ahsan and others. It also condemned firing on the journalists protesting in Islamabad against the closure of a private TV channel.

“Pemra security officials fired on journalists to prove their media policy,” alleged Mr Bhutto-Zardari, adding that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government got TV anchors off air for having an independent opinion.

He directed the party leaders that during their encounters with the media they should adopt an aggressive, but polite strategy against the PTI government and for negating “baseless” corruption allegations against the PPP leadership.

“To convey true facts to the people, it is necessary that the stance of the PPP on various issues is brought to the fore in a courteous manner.”

The PPP chief also sought thwarting of the PTI government’s attempt to make coronavirus a non-issue and hoped TV anchors would show neutrality and present the views of all parties.

Those who joined the meeting included Nayyar Bukhari, Farhatullah Babar, Aitzaz Ahsan, Sherry Rehman, Naveed Qamar, Saleem Mandviwala, Shazia Marri, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Chaudhry Manzoor, Maula Bakhsh Chandio, Nafisa Shah, Palwasha Khan, Haider Zaman Qureshi, Barrister Amir Hassan, Hassan Murtaza, Ali Haider Gilani and others.

Meanwhile, Maulana Fazlur Rehman telephoned Mr Bhutto-Zardari and invited the PPP’s Sindh chapter to a multi-party conference the JUI-F was holding on July 9. Both the leaders also discussed the federal budget and termed it anti-people.

The PPP chairman was quoted as saying that the Imran Khan government was deliberately reducing the number of tests for coronavirus in a bid to mislead the world.

Earlier, Mr Bhutto-Zardari held a video link meeting with officials of People’s Students Federation (PSF) Punjab.

PSF Punjab President Musa Khokhar said educational institutions were closed, but students were still charged extra fee. Students could not discuss their problems due to a ban on unions and demanded that fees of at least two semesters of universities be waived off. He further said students were facing difficulties in attending online classes without good internet speed.

The PPP chairman said it was unfortunate that there was no clear government policy regarding educational institutions during the pandemic. He said holding online classes without good internet speed was injustice with students.

Published in Dawn, July 7th, 2020

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