ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has condemned the government’s decision to bar television channels from covering the events that unfolded in Lahore on Sunday.

According to a press release, PFUJ President Shehzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi through a joint statement expressed concern over the situation, saying restrictions on the media would be counterproductive, encourage rumour-mongering and fan anti-government sentiments.

“It also undermines the right to information. It is the people’s right to receive authentic and verified information. This curbs fear-mongering and stops people from falling prey to rumours.

“Unfortunately this is what seems to be happening in parts of Punjab after the news blackout,” Shehzada Zulfiqar and Nasir Zaidi said. The PFUJ urged the federal government to reconsider the decision of blocking coverage of the Lahore situation. “Such moves fly in the face of the government’s tall claims about press freedom. We realise that the situation is sensitive, but any blackout will make things more complicated and put a question mark on the nedia’s conduct.”

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2021

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