ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has reiterated its commitment towards ensuring press freedom and fight for human rights in the country.
On July 5, 1977 – considered as a “black day” in the country’s history – Ziaul Haq imposed martial law by overthrowing the democratically-elected government of Pakistan People’s Party, led by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, followed by draconian censorship laws and countless human rights violations.
In a statement, PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi expressed their resolve to continue struggle to achieve Freedom of Press in the country. “Only media freedom and independence of journalists can ensure governance, transparency, democracy and democratic norms in the country” they said.
“Zia’s regime worsened already complex issues the country was facing, due to the fall of East Pakistan and long dictatorships. Several newspapers, magazines and media outlets were banned, journalists were arrested and executed by military courts amid a policy designed to shut the voices of dissent. Journalists were awarded public lashes, which still haunt the journalist community across the world,” the journalists’ leaders said.
Democracy, democratic norms and institutions in Pakistan will only flourish and strengthen when there is independent media, Freedom of Speech and respect for voices of dissent.,” the PFUJ statement said.
Newspaper: The News