ISLAMABAD: Observing that media freedom was one of the most important pillars of democracy, the Pakistan Peoples Party on Saturday said there was a dire need for substantive legislation to protect the journalist community.

“The PPP has and will always stand by the journalists in the country. No democracy can thrive without a free press,” PPP parliamentary leader in the Senate Sherry Rehman said during a meeting with members of the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF). The proposed Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill 2020 came under discussion during the meeting. The bill aims to build an effective safety mechanism for freedom of expression for journalists.

The meeting was attended by Adviser to the Sindh Chief Minister on Information, Law and Environment Murtaza Wahab, PPF’s Fellowship Editor Ghazala Fasih and secretary general Owais Aslam Ali.

The Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill 2020 was prepared by the ministry of human rights last year in February.

Senator says no democracy can thrive without a free press

“We need a robust provincial law to protect our journalists who face unprecedented levels of threat and violence by the federal government. Promoting the safety of journalists and combating impunity for those who attack them is the need of the hour,” noted Senator Rehman.

She pointed out that in the World Press Freedom Index for 2020, Pakistan ranked 145 out of 180 countries.

“Today, journalists are being intimidated, threatened, censored and punished. The PTI government is finding new ways to silence media workers,” she said.

“Protecting journalism is what PPP stands for. PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has clearly stated that we need to introduce progressive laws to protect and safeguard our journalists,” she added.

Sherry Rehman recommended another consultative meeting to discuss the proposed bill with senior journalists in Karachi.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2021


Long arm of Big Tech
20 Jan 2021

Long arm of Big Tech

How many people would still be alive if Twitter and Facebook had denied Trump a platform to spread lies about Covid-19 a year ago?
Words, words, words
19 Jan 2021

Words, words, words

There was little in terms of contributions in our own language as we wrestled with the pandemic.


Updated 20 Jan 2021

Broadsheet judgement

There are plenty of skeletons in the Broadsheet cupboard and they must be brought out into the open.
20 Jan 2021

Unequal justice

IT seems no one wants to testify against former SSP Malir, Rao Anwar. At least five prosecution witnesses, all ...
20 Jan 2021

Schools reopening

THE disruptive impact of Covid-19 on education will be felt for years to come. For countries like Pakistan, where...
Updated 19 Jan 2021

LNG contracts

It is important for industry to reconnect with the national grid and for gas to be allocated for more efficient uses.
19 Jan 2021

Murdered judges

THE continuous violence in Afghanistan has raised serious questions about the sustainability of the peace process, ...
19 Jan 2021

K2 feat

A TEAM of 10 Nepalese mountaineers made history over the weekend as they scaled the world’s second highest peak K2...