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PM vows to promote principles of freedom of expression, free media

 December 06, 2022

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reaffirmed government's strong commitment to support all efforts that promote and uphold the shining principles of freedom of expression and free media.

He was addressing an event organized by Islamabad Journalist Safety Forum on the theme of the UN ten years Plan of Action on Tuesday.

The Prime Minister said his government believes that the freedom of expression is sacrosanct and will remain at the heart of development of democracy.

Shehbaz Sharif noted democracy and media reinforce each other and there can be no democracy without freedom of expression.

The Prime Minister said his government would be part of efforts aimed at making Pakistani democracy stronger through greater free media.

Shehbaz Sharif pointed out that Pakistan became the first country in Asia to pass legislation on the Safety of Journalists at the federal and the provincial level in Sindh province.

He said the government will continue to support the ongoing efforts in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan to legislate on safety of journalists.

Shehbaz Sharif said the parliament passed a landmark Protection of Journalists and Media Professional Acts after thorough consultations with all the stakeholders. He said this act recognizes the rights of journalists and seeks to protect media persons from all kinds of ill treatment and aggression. He assured the full implementation of this legislation.

Shehbaz Sharif said his government believes that no journalists should be called out or attacked for exercising their freedom of expression as guaranteed under the constitution of Pakistan.

Referring to the murder of senior Journalist Arshad Sharif in Kenya, Shehbaz Sharif said he has written  a letter to the Chief Justice of Pakistan to constitute a commission to investigate the murder and hoped some action will be taken in this regard.