KARACHI: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has urged the Pakistan government not to criminalise criticising the armed forces as it posed a serious threat to journalistic freedom.

It also stressed that as general elections were approaching, the law could seriously hinder the democratic process.

According to a report issued by RSF on Monday, journalists could face five years in prison for commenting on the army under the proposed amendment that the government is planning to table in the parliament.

It said the proposed law’s wording is “extremely vague” and its consequences could be disastrous in the run-up to general elections later this year.

The report said the draft penal code amendment would create a new type of offence.

Daniel Bastard, head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk, called on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to immediately abandon the proposed law as it created a very “vaguely worded offence that gives the police exorbitant administrative powers over journalists and is clearly designed solely to prohibit any form of comment about the armed forces”.

Published in Dawn, February 14th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

Security lapses
Updated 13 Apr, 2024

Security lapses

Ensuring the safety of foreign citizens is paramount, not just for diplomatic relations but for our economic future.
An eventful season
13 Apr, 2024

An eventful season

THE Senate chairman and deputy chairman were elected unopposed, and 41 new senators were sworn in on Tuesday,...
Living rough
13 Apr, 2024

Living rough

WE either don’t see them or don’t want to see them — not even when they are actively trying to get our...
Saudi investment
Updated 10 Apr, 2024

Saudi investment

The state has to address barriers that stand in the way of attracting foreign investment, and create a pro-business environment.
Charity for change
Updated 11 Apr, 2024

Charity for change

PAKISTANIS are large-hearted people who empty their pockets at the slightest hint of another’s need. The Stanford...