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Pakistan: Scribe groups reject proposed media development authority

ANI | Updated: Sep 11, 2021 01:05 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan] September 11 (ANI): Pakistan journalists from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa on Thursday rejected the proposed law 'Pakistan Media Development Authority' (PMDA), saying that it is against the fundamental rights provided by the constitution.
The journalists affiliated with different news organizations and also members of the Peshawar Press Club and Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ) adopted a unanimous resolution after a daylong seminar, The News International reported.
The journalists affiliated with different news organisations and press associations termed the law against article 19 of the constitution of the country, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression to the people.
The groups also informed that "the proposed legislation would not only deprive journalists and media organizations of the press freedom but would also deprive civil society, students, lawyers, teachers, law-makers, trade unions, political, religious activists and in fact 220 million population of the country of their basic rights, The News International reported.
Experts also suggest that Pakistan's freedom of the press is under threat as the Imran Khan-led country's government is poised to place more curbs by implementing the so-called new law Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA).

Despite being a democratic state, Pakistan continues to suppress free speech in digital spaces, stopping its citizens from participating in the working of the state by depriving them of a resourceful channel for vocalizing their concerns.

Writer Mehmil Khalid cites an assessment report 'Pakistan Freedom of Expression Report 2020' by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) to say that the country performed poorly in all the indicators that determine free speech and that the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the digital censorship in Pakistan.

Pakistan scored 30 points out of 100 on the assessment report index, which analysts say proves the fact that the government has placed curbs on free speech and disallowed people to talk especially about the pandemic and the related information. (ANI)