LRIP

Proposed PMDA and Constraint on Media’s Freedom of Speech

22nd August 2021.

According to The News International, Pakistan media development authority law is seen as a thorn in the side of press freedom in the country. This new planned law has sparked widespread opposition in Imran Khan’s ruling administration. With the adoption of this law, there is a threat to free expression.

This law returns the media to the military dictatorship of Zia-ul-Haq when the media had to get approval on its material before publishing it. The report further said that this is law is one of the other plans to take control over the mainstream and private media. In this way, things will get into their hands and they can lower the individual and independent voices on social media.

Previously in dawn newspaper, a senior journalist wrote that in the days of Zia-ul-Haq’s leadership, the newspaper also featured blank spots in it that indicated how certain stories were slipped off by higher authorities.

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The whole media has worked hard to oppose this bill, but the government’s desire to have this proposed law enacted by parliament is clear. This law is the most blatant attempt to stifle the media. The news reports further said that Journalists have worked hard over the last few decades to gain more room for meaningful debate and discourse on national problems. However, in recent years, the media has been subjected to increasing limitations and coercion.

According to the Freedom Network’s annual status of press freedom 2021 report, Pakistan has appeared to be a region full of risks and harassment for the media to thrive. According to The News International, roughly 148 incidents of assaults and violations occurred during the one year from May 2020 to April 2021.

Please contact the Legal Research Institute of Pakistan for further assistance.

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