MULTAN: The third Multan Literary Festival (MLF) concluded at the Multan Tea House here on Sunday.

The last day of the two-day event had musical performances, books reading and panel discussions.

Speaking at a discussion on the topic of ‘Freedom of press in the era of embedded journalism’ conducted by Raziuddin Razi, senior journalist Wusatullah Khan said journalism was facing multiple restrictions and publishing real news in newspapers or airing it on news channels was not possible.

“Social media is the only medium from where we can get some news. The social media is becoming a real threat to the governments which believe in oppressing their own people. These include Egypt, Myanmar, Syria and Iran,” he said.

He said the owners of media organisations were not interested in doing real journalism.

“Like the newspapers, the news channels also are losing their importance for not discussing the issues,” he said.

Wajahat Masood said the struggle for the freedom of press was a continuous process and it would continue until such a time when real democracy would exist.

At a discussion on ‘Pakistan Main Nazriyati Siasat ki Gunjaish’ conducted by Sana Bucha on the first day of the festival, Chaudhry Manzoor said that unfortunately the space for doing politics was being reduced with the passage of time. He said the politics of ideology was the only way to solve the national issues.

Veteran politician Javed Hashmi said voices in Pakistan were being stifled and the people were not allowed to express their political views.

The festival ended with performances by Rahat Multanikar at Sham-e-Ghazal.

Published in Dawn, November 15th, 2021

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