Prominent Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir (Photo Credit: Hamid Mir Twitter)
Prominent Pakistan journalist Hamid Mir (Photo Credit: Hamid Mir Twitter)

Democracy, Constitution in Pakistan 'only in name', says senior journalist

ANI | Updated: Aug 10, 2021 11:29 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], August 10 (ANI): Hamid Mir, a senior Pakistani journalist has laid bare the narrowing space for press freedom and the growing threat against scribes in the country.

The former host of the now-off air news show Capital Talk, in an interview with BBC, said that "there is democracy in Pakistan but there is no democracy.” “There is a Constitution in Pakistan but there is no Constitution. And I am a living example of censorship in Pakistan,” Mir said, as quoted by Dawn newspaper.

Mir was once kidnapped. He has also survived two assassination attempts. Back in June, Mir was taken off the air after he spoke out against the country's military at a protest against an attack on another journalist. 

While speaking with Stephen Sackur, the host of the BBC show HardTalk, Mir said journalists want the rule of law to be established in Pakistan. “If a journalist is asking questions, don’t try to silence his voice.”

Answering whether intelligence agencies were behind the attacks on journalists, Mir said, “These are documented facts and the state agencies and the intelligence agencies were blamed again and again for organising attacks or kidnapping journalists.”

Over the question on several sedition cases lodged against him, Mir said, “I am ready to face life in prison because if they will… convict me at least the whole world will come to know what is going on in Pakistan.”

“The whole world is already aware of what is going on because I am living example of censorship in Pakistan,” he added.

When asked about Prime Minister Imran Khan’s role in media curbs in the country and the ban of his show, Mir said: “Imran Khan is not directly responsible for imposing a ban on me. I don’t think he wants me to be off air. But like past prime ministers, he is not a very powerful prime minister…he is helpless and he can’t help me.”

Pakistan has been witnessing severe criticism over its press freedom in the country. In June, three international rights groups In a joint statement had voiced grave concern at the recent attacks on journalists in Pakistan and mounting pressure on scribes critical of the government.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), Amnesty International and the International Commission of Jurists had called for prompt prosecution of those suspected of criminal responsibility. (ANI)