ISLAMABAD/KARACHI/QUETTA/PESHAWAR: The World Press Freedom Day was observed on Wednesday across the country with a renewed pledge to protect the fundamental principles of press freedom and defend the media from attacks on their independence.
Multiple events and rallies were organised by the journalist bodies, civil society and public sector in various cities of Pakistan to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in line of the duty.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif paid tribute to journalists across the world, particularly those in Pakistan, for their commendable work to inform and educate the people.
“On World Press Freedom Day, I pay glowing tributes to journalists across the world, particularly those in Pakistan for the commendable work they are doing to inform and educate the people,” the PM wrote on Twitter.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said the present coalition government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif fully believed in the freedom of the media and it would continue taking practical measures to protect journalists.
In a statement on Press Freedom Day observed on Wednesday, she said now journalism in Pakistan was enjoying complete freedom. “The Constitution of Pakistan guarantees freedom of the press and citizens’ right to access accurate information,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, the National Assembly (NA) unanimously passed a resolution on World Press Freedom Day and resolved that the fundamental right of freedom of speech enshrined in the Constitution under Article 19 which is the foundation of freedom of the press would be upheld.
The resolution also affirmed the obligation of the government to safeguard and uphold press freedom against any form of censorship, undue interference, or retribution.
Federal Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Coordination, Sherry Rehman remarked that Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) believed in the independence of media, playing an important role in holding those in power accountable.
PPPP President Asif Ali Zardari expressed the determination to continue to support the freedom of the press.
Meanwhile, journalists’ organisations observed the World Press Freedom Day and vowed to continue struggle for press freedom, independent working condition in media houses and protection of rights of the journalists.
Journalists’ organisations held demonstration outside Karachi Press Club and organised roundtable conference raising their demands for independent working conditions for journalists, protection of their rights and protection of journalists while performing their professional duties.
They also decided to revive joint action committee comprised of all journalists’ organisation under the banner of Karachi Press Club for protecting the rights of the journalists at every forum.
The journalists staged a rally outside the Peshawar Press Club and carrying banners and placards, demanded the government to provide security to them.
In Swat, an event regarding the Press Freedom Day was held at the University of Swat to highlight the need for responsible journalism for the uplift of society.
The journalists of Jamrud celebrated Press Freedom Day by holding an event, where the journalists carried banners and placards in support of freedom of the press and journalists.
District Police Officer (DPO) Khyber Saleem Abbas Kulachi visited the Bara Press Club, saying the tribal districts journalists rendered matchless sacrifices in militancy.
In Chitral, an event was organized in connection with the day with the support of the European Union and Aga Khan Rural Support Programme.