A resolution passed by a provincial parliament in Pakistan is a crude attempt to
silence journalists and will fail, according to the International
Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
The Punjab Assembly passed a resolution on July 9 condemning the role of the
media and accusing it of “irresponsible behaviour” following coverage of fake
degrees held by members of parliament, according to media reports.
The resolution, which was passed
unanimously by the assembly, said some media coverage was being used as
political propaganda, leading to public representatives being maligned, according
to the reports.
The IFJ joined its affiliate, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists
(PFUJ), in demanding the resolution be withdrawn.
“This resolution by the Punjab Assembly is extremely worrying to the IFJ as
it shows a total disregard for the media’s crucial role in reporting important
matters relating to good governance in Pakistan,” IFJ General Secretary Aidan White said.
“It would be a sensible move for Pakistan’s members of parliament who
have concerns about media content to engage in dialogue with journalists and the
media rather than use their assemblies to condemn the professional practices of
journalists reporting in the public interest.”
The PFUJ called for demonstrations
against the resolution, and protest rallies were held by district unions
of journalists in numerous cities and towns including Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Karachi, Sukkur, Peshawar and Quetta.
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