President calls for upholding Press Freedoms

PPP Co-Chairman President Asif Ali Zardari has said that the present government has not only upheld freedom of the media as an essential element of democracy but also sought to expand its frontiers.

He said this in his message on the Press Freedom Day on Monday.

“On the occasion of Press Freedom Day I wish to compliment the journalist community for their relentless struggle and all those who supported them for freeing the media from the restrictions imposed on it by autocratic regimes”, President said.

“On this occasion our thoughts also go out to those journalists who laid down their lives or suffered otherwise while performing their professional duties in areas affected by militancy.”

“I would also like to avail this opportunity to reiterate that the Pakistan Peoples Party stands for freedom of press as an essential value of democracy, transparency, good governance and accountability. The government will not only uphold press freedom but also further enlarge its scope”, he maintained.

“It is a measure of our commitment to media freedoms that soon after the formation of the coalition government a bill was submitted in the Parliament to undo the draconian changes made in the PEMRA law during the dying days of dictatorship. The government is conscious of the dangers to the lives of journalists in the performance of their duties particularly in areas affected by militancy. It has decided to set up a special fund for journalists who lay down their lives in the line of duty, he pointed.

“The government believes that a free media is critical for tearing apart the shroud of secrecy around grave violations of freedoms and human rights. Access to information is one area where the PPP has been striving to further enlarge the scope of press freedoms and allow journalists and citizens access to information to expose corruption and wrong doings”, he added.

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