ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Leader of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the Senate Senator Sherry Rehman said that the PPP stands for the freedom of press and protection of the journalists.
During a meeting with members of Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF), Sherry Rehman discussed the proposed “the Protection of Journalists and Media professionals Bill 2020”. The Bill aims to build an effective safety mechanism for freedom of expression for journalists.
The meeting was attended by Advisor to Chief Minister on Information, Law and Environment, Murtaza Wahab, Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)’s Fellowship editor, Ghazala Fasih, and Secretary General, Owais Aslam Ali.
The Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Bill 2020” was prepared by the Ministry of Human Rights last year in February.
Sherry Rehman said, “We need a robust provincial law to protect our journalists, who face unprecedented levels of threat and violence by the federal government. Promoting the safety of journalists and combating impunity for those who attack them is the need of the hour.”
She said in n the World Press Freedom Index for 2020, Pakistan ranked 145 out of 180 countries. “Today, journalists are being intimidated, threatened, censored and punished. The PTI government is finding new ways to silence media workers,” she said.
Sherry Rehman said protecting journalism is what PPP stands for. “Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has clearly stated that we need to introduce progressive laws to protect and safeguard our journalists,” she said.
She recommended another consultative meeting to discuss the proposed Bill with senior journalists in Karachi.
Senator Sherry Rehman said media freedom is one of the most important pillars of democracy and in Pakistan, there is a dire need for substantive legislation to protect the journalist community. “The PPP has and will always stand by the journalists in the country. No democracy can thrive without a free press”, she said.