ISLAMABAD: In recognition of World Press Freedom Day to be observed on Wednesday (today), the country’s leaders across political divide paid tribute to media persons for performing their duties in a professional and non-partisan manner and standing by democracy in challenging environments.

National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervez Ashraf in his statement said parliament and the government are working hard to ensure that journalists are able to work freely without any fear of intimidation, and that the public has access to reliable information and diverse viewpoints.

The speaker underscored that the “media in any society plays a critical role in holding those in power accountable and giving voice to marginalised communities. Without a free press, democracy cannot thrive”.

Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani underscored the significance of an autonomous and unrestrained press in any democratic setup and said it was not just a fundamental right, but also an indispensable tool for promoting good governance, transparency and accountability. He said the upper house of parliament stands in solidarity with journalists and media workers who strive to uncover the truth and pursue justice.

NA Deputy Speaker Zahid Akram Durrani highlighted the need of media independence and press freedom. “Journalists must be free to do their job without interference,” he said.

Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Abdul Quddus Bizenjo said the media being the fourth pillar of the state plays an important role in Pakistan. Paying homage to the martyred journalists, the chief minister expressed the hope that journalists would continue to perform their effective role in the development and prosperity of the country and society.

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2023

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