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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that his party stands with the journalist community in the struggle for freedom of expression. The PPP chairman, Tuesday, visited journalist Asad Toor’s residence to express solidarity with him.

He was accompanied by Fahatullah Babar, Senator Raza Rabbani, Faisal Karim Kundi, Nasir Shah, Murtaza Wahab, and Nazir Dhoki. Afterwards, Chairman Bilawal, while talking to journalists, said that the attackers who assaulted Asad Toor were cowards who think themselves as brave people.

“They have sent a message of weakness and cowardice and insecurity that they cannot tolerate even a Vlog. These kinds of incidents do not happen in democratic countries. I will take this issue in the human rights committee of the National Assembly. I requested Asad Toor to present his case in the committee. We will also request PFUJ to work with us for journalists’ security. We have to hold these attackers responsible,” he said.

He said that this government cannot provide security to the journalists in the federal capital where foreign embassies are situated and the prime minister brags wrongly about freedom of the press in Pakistan.

The prime minister tells lies to the entire world. Bilawal said that we all as a society will have to fight for the freedom of the press in the country.

“If we do not stand with journalists then if we become the target of such attacks then no one will stand with us. We condemn these attacks and also the campaigns of character assassination and fake news against journalists. We salute the bravery of Asad Toor and we know that with such attacks Asad Toor cannot be silenced,” he said.

Responding to questions, the PPP chairman said that we all in the government and the opposition have to be at one page and condemn the attackers and bring them to book. He said that such attacks have become a norm in the country and journalists cannot work in this environment of terror.

He said that before this attack, Absar Alam was attacked, and before him Matiullah Jan as well, so we have to talk about these issues in the standing committee. Earlier in the day, Bilawal met the party senators and discussed the issues regarding the budget for the next financial year.

He was also briefed about the Pakistan Media Development Authority ordinance. He said that the PPP will oppose every effort to crush the freedom of expression by this “puppet” government.

He said that it is unfortunate that the government is running on ordinances ignoring the parliament. The PPP will oppose this anti-people budget in the parliament.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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