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Monday July 15, 2024

LPC opposes Punjab govt’s proposed Defamation Law 2024

Hasty push to enact the Defamation Law 2024 mirrors past failed attempts to curtail press freedom

By Our Correspondent
May 15, 2024
Lahore Press Club seen in this image. — Facebook/Route to Lahore Press Club Lahore Pakistan/File
Lahore Press Club seen in this image. — Facebook/Route to Lahore Press Club Lahore Pakistan/File

LAHORE: The Lahore Press Club led by its President Arshad Ansari has opposed the Punjab government's proposed Defamation Law 2024.

In a statement on Wednesday, it said this regressive measure aimed at muzzling journalistic freedom represented a dangerous descent into authoritarianism.

“We, as journalists, uphold the principles of truth and transparency. However, the Punjab government's attempt to stifle dissenting voices is a direct assault on the pillars of democracy.

The hasty push to enact the Defamation Law 2024 mirrors past failed attempts to curtail press freedom. History reminds us of the resilience of journalists in the face of such oppressive measures.

Instead of silencing the press, the Punjab government must address governance issues such as the recent wheat scandal.

Blatant attempts to suppress dissent through legal intimidation are unacceptable.

We call upon all political parties, including the Pakistan Peoples Party, to stand against this affront to democracy,” the LPC said.

“Meaningful legislation, crafted through bipartisan consultation, is imperative for a thriving democracy.

The Lahore Press Club, in collaboration with fellow journalist organizations, will devise a robust strategy to combat this draconian law.

We urge the Punjab government to reconsider its stance and uphold the values of democracy and freedom of press,” the LPC said.

Ansari emphasized the need for sensible governance over hasty manoeuvres and said the Punjab government must heed the voice of people and refrain from undemocratic practices.

“We stand united in our commitment to safeguarding journalistic integrity and will not relent until this unjust law is discarded,” he said.