In another episode of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) alleged bars on press freedom, critical media coverage has been linked to potential “treason”.
The PTI, on its official Twitter handle, has fired off over two dozen tweets in English and Urdu, lambasting the press for coverage that criticises the government and Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan, which it deemed “anti-state”.
“Freedom of expression is [the] beauty of democracy. Expressing [the] enemy’s stance is not freedom of speech, but treason against its people,” read one tweet.
“Media houses and journalists must take care that in their quest for criticism on state, they intentionally or unintentionally do not end up propagating enemy’s stance,” it added with the hashtag ‘#JournalismNotAgenda’.
The tirade comes two weeks after an interview of former president Asif Ali Zardari was stopped from being aired shortly after it started on a private news channel.
It was followed by an interview of Maryam Nawaz Sharif, a vice president of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), being “forcefully” taken off air soon after it was run.
“Just came to know Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s interview has been stopped forcefully just [a] few minutes after it started live,” tweeted show host Nadeem Malik.
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) MNA and former Punjab law minister Rana Sanaullah has challenged Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan to a “drug test”.
“Sentence me without a trial if even nicotine traces are found in my blood,” the PML-N leader, who was arrested for possession of drugs earlier this month, said while appearing before an anti-narcotics court.
“But also test this incompetent PM and sentence me without trial if you do not find [traces of] cocaine, ice (crystal meth), hashish and heroin,” Sanaullah added.
He went on to say that the “victimisation of political opponents” by the ruling party would not continue for long.
Sanaullah is in judicial custody till July 29 in a drug possession case. The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) claims to have seized 15 kilogrammes of heroin from his car upon arrest over two weeks ago.
The PML-N leader, on the other hand, denies the charge while his wife suggests the drugs “were planted in the vehicle”.