PMLN President and National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif has said that his party has vehemently rejected the Pakistan Media Development Authority and has pledged to oppose this black law in Parliament by joining hands with all political parties.
Speaking at the Mazar-e-Quaid after a meeting with the leaders of media organizations Shehbaz said PMLN will do its best to thwart the government’s efforts to legislate the Media Development Authority.
He said this legislation was a matter of life and death for media, independent journalism, democracy and constitutional freedoms.
The meeting was attended by officials of All Pakistan Newspapers Society, Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors, Representatives of Pakistan Broadcasters Association, Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors.
It was also attended by officials of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Karachi Union of Journalists.
He assured that PMLN will deliberate on this issue within their party in the light of the views shared by media bodies’ leaders and will take the joint opposition into confidence as well.
He said a consultative meeting of representatives of joint opposition and media organizations will also be held in this regard.
The NA Opposition leader said no party in parliament except the government will support this black law.
He was of the view that this was a sensitive issue, and maybe one of the government benches will wake up after it is highlighted through the platform of the parliament. He believed that if sincerity is shown, it is possible to stop the passage of this black law in the Senate.
Shehbaz said the way Imran Niazi imposed restrictions on the media over the past three years, any other government would have been ousted because of it by now.
These terrible restrictions on were a source of disrepute and ridicule for Pakistan all over the world, he added.
He pointed out that the media is very well aware of the manner in which society was poisoned with lies and hatred by Imran and his trolls.
He said Nawaz Sharif and PML-N have condemned media restrictions imposed by the Imran government and the party will join voice of the journalists in the media struggle.
He stressed that PMLN will do all it can, and more, to stop this black law from going ahead. He said he will stand side by side with them on this issue and will give full support.
“Imran Niazi has not only shut down the programs of those he used to call his brothers but has stopped extending basic courtesy to them.
These restrictions have cost the jobs and livelihoods of thousands of media persons over the past 3 years, he said. All this is even more Ironic because Imran was a media favorite when he was in the opposition.”
The freedom that the media has gained is not a gift from anyone it was earned through great struggle and sacrifices for freedom of expression, he said.