Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly, Shahbaz Sharif, called on Speaker Asad Qaiser to form a parliamentary committee to probe the atrocities being committed against media institutions in Pakistan.
The PML-N president penned a letter to Qaiser on Tuesday, highlighting the blatant violation of the law, Constitution and democracy in Pakistan due to which journalists in the country were being targeted.
Referring to the increasing curbs on freedom of speech and censorship in the country, Shehbaz wrote that this is “an urgent and important matter” and was related to the ‘unusual restrictions’ imposed on the media.
The former Punjab chief minister stated that the latest problem pertained to the ban on Channel 24, which he added had adversely affected the households of thousands of families. He stated that in the current government’s tenure, the media has been put in a very tough situation, similar to other industries.
“To add pressure on the media, a strategy has been formulated to ban the publication of columnists,” said Shahbaz. He accused the government of having journalists it did not like, sacked from their jobs.
Shehbaz said that lawsuits have been filed against media owners who did not stop from criticising the government, adding that the biggest example of this was Jang Geo Editor-in-Chief Mir Shakeel-ur-Rehman.
He added that the lawyers’ community, Pakistan Bar Council’s Executive Committee and other foreign journalist organisations have labelled the government’s policy as “vengeful”.