Freedom of expression is in threat in Pakistan due to present media restrictions.
Washington, US: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said media is not totally free in pakistan the restrictions are threat to the freedom expression of Pakistan.
Addressing a virtual roundtable, the senior US official expressed concern over “significant restrictions” on media outlets and civil society in Pakistan, while speaking on lack of accountability for attacks and disappearances against journalists in the country, reported Geo News.
“We’ve documented some of this in our Country Reports on Human Rights practices, and we see media outlets, journalists, their families in Pakistan often subject to threats, harassment at the hands of security forces, political parties, militants, other groups,” he said.
“Our open and honest engagement with Pakistan enables us, I think, to have an ongoing, sustained dialogue on human rights issues more broadly, and more specifically when it comes to press freedom, the rule of law, religious freedom, even as we collaborate in a number of areas where we have very clear mutual interests,” he added.
Blinken further said that the US regularly raises issues and concerns relating to press freedom with Pakistani authorities in conversations and in meetings, Geo News reported.
Journalists and the media are a priority target of Pakistan’s military and inter-intelligence services to subjugate freedom of speech.
EU Chronicle had reported in October 2020, adding that such actions of intolerance towards independent journalism have increased dramatically since July 2018 when Imran Khan became prime minister.
Not only that, but internet freedom in Pakistan has also declined dramatically as in 2020 Imran Khan-led government has increased blocking political, social and cultural websites, as well as increased “weaponisation of the cybercrime law as a tool”.
“The accumulative effect of these outcomes was that the already unfriendly legal framework governing freedom of expression, right to information and digital rights in Pakistan worsened considerably during 2020,” according to the report titled “Growing fear and hate in Pakistani online civic spaces.”