Politicians, civil society express solidarity with journalists in protest against proposed media authority – Pakistan

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Political events, pupil unions and members of civil society continued to precise solidarity with protesting journalists exterior Parliament Home in Islamabad on Monday, becoming a member of them in elevating their voice towards the proposed Pakistan Media Improvement Authority (PMDA) invoice.

The protesting journalists had marched on Sunday from the Nationwide Press Membership and reached exterior the Parliament Home. They’ve been staging a sit-in since and say the protest will proceed until President Dr Arif Alvi’s tackle to the joint session of parliament, which is scheduled to convene at 4pm on Monday (at this time).

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, PML-N Data Sec­retary Marriyum Aurangzeb and MNA Mohsin Dawar, amongst others, visited the protest website on Sunday evening to precise solidarity with the journalists.

A number of politicians, together with Senator Sherry Rehman and Raza Rabbani of the PPP, visited the protest camp on Monday and addressed the protesters.

Aurangzeb, together with PML-N chief Ahsan Iqbal, additionally visited the protest website on Monday.

Addressing the protesters, Iqbal lambasted the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf authorities for “attacking and making an attempt to muzzle” the media.

Referring to the PMDA invoice, he dubbed it a “conspiracy” and stated if the invoice was handed, “democracy will die on this nation”.

The PML-N chief vowed to withstand the “fascist legislation”.

Expressing solidarity with journalists, he added, “You (journalists) have survived gunshots, kidnappings and financial homicide as you had been fired out of your jobs, however you did not cease talking the reality and I salute you for this.”

He recalled that journalists had additionally staged protests when the PML-N was within the authorities.

“However we took it sportingly,” Iqbal added.

Later, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addressed the protest, saying that Pakistani journalists had bravely fought towards and defeated former president Pervez Musharraf up to now and he was assured that might additionally courageously struggle towards the incumbent “stooge” prime minister.

“I consider so far as the legitimacy of the federal government and media freedom are involved, all [of us] are on the identical web page,” he added.

In the meantime, police remained deployed exterior the Parliament Home as a safety measure.

PML-N President and Opposition Chief Shahbaz Sharif can be anticipated to deal with the protesters later at this time and journalist Hamid Mir plans to host a chat present from the positioning of the sit-in.

The protest name was given by numerous journalist our bodies, headed by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists.

In the meantime, the Parlia­mentary Reporters Affiliation had additionally introduced that reporters would boycott the presidential tackle in protest towards the proposed media authority.

What’s PMDA?

The PMDA has been conceived as a regulatory physique that may “cater to the skilled and enterprise necessities of all types of media and their customers”, in keeping with a authorities proposal, and is supposed to exchange the present “fractured” regulatory surroundings and “fragmented” media regulation by a number of our bodies.

Which means that in keeping with the proposal, the PMDA solely might be chargeable for the regulation of print, broadcast and digital media in Pakistan.

Beneath an ordinance drafted for the institution of the authority, all earlier legal guidelines pertaining to media regulation, management or oblique management will seemingly be abolished and contemporary laws might be enacted, giving authorized cowl to the PMDA and its capabilities.

Nevertheless, the opposition and journalist see the invoice as an try and curtail the independence of media.

Addressing the protesters in Islamabad on Sunday, senior journalists representing numerous associations of media employees vowed to withstand the federal government transfer to implement the PMDA, terming it an effort to gag the press.

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