Thursday, June 17, 2021
ISLAMABAD: PPP Senator Sherry Rehman says Parliament is under attack in unprecedented ways.
"Make no mistake, so is democracy. Telling truth to power has always been a challenge but today it is under threat in dangerous ways," Rehman said on Twitter.
In her speech at a convention on the attacks on judiciary and media in Pakistan, she warned that a "storm is coming".
"The first and last blow of the storm is also on journalism," she said.
Rehman and several other politicians, lawyers, journalists and civil society members expressed their grave concern over the state of the media and judiciary in Pakistan during a convention, 'Assault on Media and Judiciary', hosted by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Supreme Court Bar Association in Islamabad on Thursday.
PPP's Farhatullah Babar called for everyone to raise their voice against a ban on raising public awareness.
He was referring to the government's newly proposed media ordinance, the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) Ordinance 2021
The ordinance proposes to repeal all current media related laws including The Press Council Ordinance 2002, The Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance 2002, the Newspaper Employees (Conditions of Services Acts) 1973, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA Amendment Act 2007, and The Motion Pictures Ordinance 1979. All will be merged under PMDA.
"When consciousness disappears from society, it ceases to exist morally," Babar said, adding that today's war is a war to raise awareness in society.
"Today's war is a war to keep the moral existence of society alive," he said, adding that this war cannot be fought by an individual, civil society, or political party alone.
He emphasised on making a collective effort to keep the moral existence of society alive.
PML-N's Marriyum Aurangzeb extended support to journalists, promising she would support the journalists' protection bill whenever it comes.
"In this day and age we are all being stifled," she said, adding that the Opposition tried to make a law to protect journalists.
"Politicians and parliament also sacrificed a lot with their blood," she said.
The problem, Aurangzeb said, is not with any law but with those who consider themselves power houses.
PPP leader Raza Rabbani, too, called for unity against the restrictions being placed on the media and judiciary.
"This is not a time for complaining. It is a time for unity and harmony," he said, adding that this time has to be used properly.
"When the state becomes fascist, the system is destroyed," Rabbani said.