Islamabad; Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Monday termed the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) bill proposed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government to regulate the media a “black law”.
The PPP chief made these remarks as he participated in a sit-in against the legislation by the journalist community at D-Chowk, Islamabad.
Bilawal said that military dictators or “selected” leaders use such draconian measures to control the media and added that the PPP was opposed to the PMDA as it was also an attack on democracy and judiciary as journalists were being deprived of their right to appeal through PMDA.
The PPP chairperson said he would raise his voice in the parliament for the journalists of the country.
Elaborating that his party had removed restrictions imposed on the media by military dictators, Bilawal chided the incumbent government for “dragging the military into politics”.
In response to a question, Bilawal said Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry had no reason to link the controversial legislation with army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s Defence Day speech as such remarks made the national institution “controversial”.
Referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the PPP leader said he was not capable of fighting “fifth-generation warfare” and the PTI government had many times tried to use the military to justify its political position.
Bilawal further said that the opposition parties should bring in a no-trust vote against the PTI because if not able to oust the Imran government, the move would shake the government to its core.
Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) chief and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) Amir Maulana Fazlur Rehman, later talking to the media after Bilawal’s address, said that journalism and democracy are intertwined.
Vowing to stand by the journalist community, Fazl said that the government intends to bring many “unconstitutional” legislation but the opposition will not stay silent on them.
“We will invite all political parties for an anti-government march from the PDM platform,” he added.
Moreover, leader of the Opposition and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said that the opposition protested in parliament on behalf of the journalist community.
“We are with you until this ‘black law’ is buried. We will not let you down,” he assured the journalistic community.