ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led present government believed in the freedom of press as enunciated in the Constitution of Pakistan.
“We consider the freedom of expression as an equivalent to the greater freedom for the country itself, he said in a message on the World Press Freedom Day being observed across the country and globe on Tuesday.
The Prime Minister said the Government acknowledges role of media as watchdog of the society as it provides valuable inputs and feedback in formulating government’s policies.
“We believe that ensuring a congenial and secure environment is essential for the exercise of free expression. The Government is working with the media organizations and journalist community to facilitate growth and development of free print and electronic media in the country as it is imperative for a democratic polity,” he added.
He said the people of Pakistan and media community had jointly waged a long struggle to achieve their right to expression.
He said the freedom of speech and expression were envisaged in Articles 19 and 19 A of the Constitution.
The Prime Minister said that bills related to Right to Information and Protection of Journalists were being concluded in consultation with all stakeholders.
He expressed the hope that they would soon formulate these bills into laws.
The Prime Minister observed that each year, World Press Freedom Day was observed to emphasize the fundamental principles, to protect the independence of the media and to honour media workers who risked and lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
Modern democratic societies depended on the free flow of information and the right to information, he said, adding freedom of press and right to information are the hallmarks of a free and democratic society.
The Prime Minister said, “I believe that only an educated and informed citizenry can play a dynamic and constructive role in the development and progress of the country.”