LAHORE: The PML-N President and Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday condemned the arrest and continued detention of Editor-in-Chief of Jang/Geo Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and said his arrest in a baseless case has made fun of Pakistan in the whole world.In his message on World Press Freedom Day, Shahbaz Sharif reiterated the demand of releasing Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. He paid rich tribute to all media workers, cameramen, anchors working journalists and writers who are sign of truth.
Shahbaz said democracy is incomplete without media. He said that the journalism is considered as fourth pillar of the state. Shahbaz Sharif said that freedom of expression is the basic constitutional right and confiscating this right is tantamount to committing treason. He said that the media is the mirror of the society which provides opportunity to bring improvement after seeing reflection in it. Shahbaz said that the media is your friend which speaks truth in front of you and points out your mistakes and shortcomings. He said that the rulers who tried to break the mirror of media have always repented. The PML-N leader said that journalists have written an excellent history for the right of freedom of expression in Pakistan. He said that the journalists rendered their lives bear lashes and faced jails to lit the candle of freedom of expression.
He said that Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman is in jail today while becoming the prisoner of conscience for the freedom of expression. He said that journalists played historic role in Pakistan Movement, adding that media and journalists have played full role in establishment of Pakistan.
Shahbaz Sharif paid tribute to Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, Hameed Nizami, Syed Salahuddin, Majeed Nizami, Mir Khalil-ur-Rahman, Agha Shorish Kashmiri, Professor Waris Mir and Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman who always stood against the dictatorial thinking while following the principal of truth.
Shahbaz said the PML-N will always continue to support the constitutional right of freedom of expression. He said this arrest has faded the whole image of freedom of expression of Pakistan. He said that that until and unless media will be independent, democracy could not be strengthened in the country. He said that when the fourth pillar of the state will be in the handcuffs of censorship then transparency could not come in the society. — Sabah
Our correspondent adds: The ANP provincial president Aimal Wali Khan on Sunday said that freedom of the press was vital to the supremacy of democracy. Aimal Wali Khan said that media must be allowed to function without any constraints and with complete independence. However, he said that media should also work with responsibility and should avoid prejudice. He said that media should also prove that it would stand with the rule of law and stand with the people of the country in times of need.
He said that political parties, civil society and media organizations must unite to work for the freedom of press.
Newspaper: The News