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Lawyers, media practitioners reject proposed media law, vow to resist it

Islamabad: Lawyers’ representatives and media practitioners have strongly rejected the government’s proposed new media ordinance.

They said the proposed media ordinance is an attempt to further press freedom of speech and expression in the country, confirming strong resistance against any such move by the government.

They were addressing the All Pakistan Lawyer Representatives Convention titled “Assault on Judiciary and Media”, held in Islamabad on Thursday. A large number of professionals from the lawyer community and media attended the Convention.

The event was organized by the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan in collaboration with Pakistan Bar Council (PBC), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), HRCP, AGHS, and SAFMA.

The prevailing situation of media freedom reminds us of the draconian era of former dictator General Ziaul Haq, deplored PFUJ General Secretary Nasir Zaidi.

Zaidi said that the government was working on the new ordinance, which could never be imagined. He added that the lawyer community always remained on the front against any government assault on freedom of speech and expression in the country.

“Is this the country of Quaid-e-Azam where the worst restrictions are being imposed on freedom of expression, ” the PFUJ general secretary questioned.

Renowned journalist Hamid Mir said we will have to fight collectively against the curbs being imposed on freedom of expression and speech in this country.

For Senator Tahir Bizenjo, the incumbent government is just playing the role of a spectator. No one is safe from this government if Justice Qazi Faez Isa could not be, the Senator lamented.

The country can face a severe political and economic crisis if the prevailing situation in the country doesn’t improve, the Senator warned.

PPP Farhatullah Babar said the reputation of the democratic institutions is being damaged through imposing ban on pen and dissemination of information and awareness among the  society. If there is no awareness, there are no moral values in the society, the PPP leader maintained.

We strongly condemn and reject the proposed draft of the media ordinance, the PPP leader made it clear.

This is unfortunate that today the media is not independent to ask questions, he lamented.

The Peshawar High Court Bar Association president said every person who raised voice for justice and public rights faced the government action, no matter if he was Justice Qazi Faez Isa or anyone else.

The shameful tactics of the government are out of understanding, the President lamented.

While addressing the convention, former Supreme Court Bar Association president Ali Ahmad Kurd said that he has been a political worker for the past 50 years, but never remained associated with any political party, but the current government curbs on freedom of expression and speech is out of understanding, asking the government to stop its double standards.

PML-N Maryam Aurangzeb said politicians and Parliament rendered great sacrifices for the supremacy of the institutions and democracy in the country.

The PML-N spokesperson said every institution’s head takes oath for the supremacy of the constitution and if any of them makes a violation should be held accountable under the law.

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