Friday, September 24, 2021
Web Desk

Govt against fake news, not free media: PM Imran Khan

"It is degrading for the country," PM stresses; says media has "more freedom now than ever"

Web Desk

Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Digital Media Development Programme in Islamabad, on September 24, 2021. — PID
Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Digital Media Development Programme in Islamabad, on September 24, 2021. — PID

  • PM Imran Khan says fake news is "degrading for the country."
  • Says "70% news programmes" run anti-govt content.
  • Urges youth to promote the vision of Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday said his government is not against a free media, and only has a problem with "fake news and propaganda", claiming the incumbent regime had given "more freedom than ever" to news organisations.

"[Fake news] is degrading for the country," the prime minister said, as he addressed the launch ceremony of the Digital Media Development Programme.

The premier urged the youth to promote the vision of Pakistan.

He noted that when a person tells the truth, their stature in society rises, and no one respects a person who lies. "The same goes for journalism. They can take advantage by running fake news, but with time, it will be discredited."

The thing that matters is credibility, he said, adding that the PTI-led government wants the media to tell the truth. 

"My government does not fear the media and judiciary," he said, adding that the ones involved in corruption fear them, but his government does not. 

"You can take a look at the records, and I guarantee you that 70% of the programmes are against us," he said.

"I can guarantee you that the sort of slander that was committed against the prime minister and ministers was not done in any other democracy," he added.

PM Imran Khan said when the prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir was recently elected, three major newspapers ran headlines stating that he was chosen for the position through pseudoscientific methods such as numerology.

"What could be bigger slander than this? That the sitting prime minister had picked AJK's prime minister through numerology. If they had published something like this in England, I can guarantee you that I would have gotten millions of dollars in damage and Shaukat Khanum would have gained a lot from it."

The prime minister said his government was not using state media to his advantage, like the previous rulers, who "would use it to divert attention from their corruption".

'Never think any less of yourself'

PM Imran Khan told the youth to "never think any less of themselves" and "always strive to hit big goals".

The prime minister said opportunities were opening up for the youth after information and technology came into play. "But for that, you need to keep an open mind and set a goal."

Giving an example from his cricket career, the premier said he had outperformed more talented players than him because he stayed consistent and kept setting goals for himself, and urged the youth to do the same.

"Some people pass their exams because they are talented, but students who keep working hard will get ahead of them later," the prime minister said.

Shedding light on his aspirations, the premier said he wanted the young generation to promote Pakistan's vision, which is "unique". The aim, according to the premier, is to establish a self-sufficient country.

"And we are heading towards this goal [...] before we used to bow down before the global superpowers," the prime minister said. "[But now] we are heading towards making Pakistan like Riyasat-e-Madina [a welfare state]."

The premier said Pakistan had taken an initiative that even the "developed countries have not", by providing health cards to every family in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with which they can avail Rs1 million in health insurance.

"This is a step towards Riyasat-e-Madina," he said, adding that the government seeks to uplift the poor segment of the society in line with the vision of Pakistan.

"Even America does not have such insurance," he said.

The premier also highlighted that the government is establishing shelter homes and providing loans to people for building their homes, which was in line with the principles of a welfare state.

The government's 'flagship initiative'

In a tweet, the Digital Media Wing Pakistan described the Digital Media Development Programme as a flagship initiative in line with the prime minister's vision.

"Ministry of Information & Broadcasting [is] focusing on development and growth of the digital media ecosystem of Pakistan," the tweet added.

United Nations Development Programme, in a tweet, said it was proud to support the flagship initiative by the Pakistani government which aims to "empower the youth of Pakistan in enhancing their digital skills and gaining employment opportunities".