KARACHI: G M Jamali, President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Secretary General Rana Muhammad Azeem, while rejecting the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Amendment (PECA) Ordinance, 2022 have warned the government that Media Fraternity including the PFUJ would resist its imposition.
PFUJ leadership has maintained that such measures which were being taken by the incumbent government were meant to suppress criticism and rein in the freedom of speech.
They said that journalists inform the public of the truth by means of their sources. If it is a crime then Media Fraternity would continue committing the crime again and again.
Government is endeavoring to suppress journalists by intimidating them of 5-year incarceration and making it a non-bailable offence. But such attempts have neither succeeded in restraining the journalists nor would it in the future.
PFUJ Leadership held that Media Fraternity disapproved people’s character assassination by pseudo journalists and miscreants.
G M Jamali and Rana Muhammad Azeem noted that all the stake holders should have been taken into confidence but instead Government is trying to suffocate the Freedom of Press.
Leadership of PFUJ warned that if the government failed to revoke the draconian laws, the journalist fraternity would stage country wide manifestations and sit-ins.
They said that Freedom of expression and accessibility to the true information is the foundation of democratic societies.
PFUJ Leadership, while quoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Relevant Provision (s) (Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers) maintained that Government’s latest moves seemed to be an excuse to augment check on free Media.
PFUJ leadership maintains that in the present state-of-affairs the Freedom of Expression has become more vital as journalists not only required to inform the public concerning abuse of power and corruption and about the Fake News that could prove to be hazardous.
PFUJ urged the government to ensure protection of journalists so that they could work sans fear of bullying, torture and illegal detention. They pointed out that article 19 of Pakistan’s Constitution also guaranteed that.
G M Jamali and Rana Muhammad Azeem pointed out that in today’s world of digitalization the free flow of information and freedom of journalist were vital.
PFUJ said that it was alarmed by the attempts of the government to curtail internet and censorship of the content depriving the people of their right to information.
The restrictions on network would not be tolerated and such acts could not enslave the journalists’ pen nor could suffocate Media Fraternity’s voice.
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