Undemocratic regimes want to wipe out press freedom: Bilawal

ISLAMABAD  –  Pakistan People’s Party chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari Thursday said that impunity for crimes against journalists was an international issue as undemocratic regimes, extremist and anti-people forces are bent upon to wipe out press freedom from the globe. In his message on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists being observed on November 2 (today), the PPP chief said that no single nation can eliminate this cruel injustice and solution in this regard is linked in serious, coordinated and practical steps by the international community.

He said, on the one hand, previous government of the rightists promoted paid journalism while current selected government has squeezed the space for bona fide and independent journalists on the other.

Bilawal expressed concern over the perception that professional bodies of journalists were declaring Pakistan as dangerous country for media persons but rulers and corporate media was portraying everything alright.

The PPP Chairman pointed out that all the PPP governments had been burying the dark laws imposed by dictatorial regimes against press and media but rightist forces installed as rulers always start gagging them. He said journalists and media persons were still facing insecurity and media institutions are fighting the war of survival. “Democracy and press are deeply interlinked. PPP considers struggle for freedom of press as key part for the movement of strengthening of democracy,” he asserted.

Meanwhile, former President Asif Ali Zardari congratulated people of Gilgit-Baltistan on the eve of anniversary of end of Dogra Raj. In a message, the PPP co-Chairman said that people of G-B achieved liberty after a long and historical struggle. “People of GB were promised their own province and identity by Benazir Bhutto which was fulfilled by the PPP government. Today GB has its own assembly, governor and chief minister. Progress and prosperity of GB is the manifesto of PPP,” former President said.

Separately yesterday, Amir Fida Paracha, the spokesperson to the former President Asif Ali Zardari, strongly condemning the increase in petroleum prices has declared this increase a callous and anti-people act of PTI government.

Paracha said that by the increase of petroleum products, the prices of everything will go up and poor people will be affected. “There will also be an increase in travel fare for the poor people of Pakistan,” he said.

The PPP leader said that the increase in gas and power tariffs coupled with the increase in petroleum prices was an unbearable burden for the poor. “(Prime Minister) Imran Khan instead of increasing prices should provide one crore jobs and 50 lac houses to the people,” Paracha said.

The Nation