It appears that a reign of terror has been unleashed against media persons who have independent opinions. That’s what Pakistani President Arif Alvi has said in a stinging letter to PM Shehbaz Sharif. Recent incidents of violence against journalists reflects a mindset of “intolerance” that would have negative repercussions on democracy’s future and freedom of expression in the country, the President wrote. “Besides creating fear in Pakistan, such actions also come under international focus and tarnish the image of our country.” The letter said journalists in the country were subjected to charges of sedition and terrorism to “stifle dissent and criticism against the powerful elements of state”. The President went on to cite instances where journalists were attacked, abducted or killed. “Law enforcement agencies may be directed to ensure protection of journalists and media persons. In this regard, politicians across the aisle should also play their role to save journalists from highhandedness of unknown and unscrupulous elements. I would like to be informed of the remedial actions taken per Article 46 of our Constitution,” the letter said.
December 3, 2023
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