Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Wednesday that the incumbent government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) had pledged to ensure free journalism in Pakistan since it held the reins.
Addressing an awards ceremony at All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) in Islamabad, Abbasi said that the government took steps to ensure freedom of expression in the country. He asked journalists present on the occasion that if the government performed its responsibility or not.
He boasted about ending secret funds for journalists, claiming that the PML-N never spent a rupee in the wake of the hidden funds to the journalist community.
Fact-based reporting is necessary for the country, he said, adding that media should criticize the policies but it should also highlight the positive developments made by the government.
He further said that the government introduced reforms in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) and Gilgit-Baltistan, adding that more reforms were needed. “We have given direction to Pakistan,” he added.
Talking about upcoming elections, Abbasi hoped that there would be free and fair elections in the country. Citing unpredicted change in Balochistan where PML-N government was sent packing in days, the premier said that such kind of happening in coming elections would not be in the interest of Pakistan.
Elections in Pakistan are scheduled to be held on July 25 this year, as the ruling PML-N completes its five-year term on May 31.
After this, a caretaker setup headed by interim prime minister Justice (retd) Nasirul Mulk will take over to ensure a transparent and free elections in the country.