Asma supports free media, opposes any ban
LAHORE: Former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) Asma Jehangir has supported an independent and free media and said she is opposed to a ban on any TV channel or newspaper.
Addressing a dinner for the members of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and participants of the Women Journalists Convention on Sunday, Asma said there should be no distinction between uniformed and non-uniformed people in the country. She said they praise those Jawans of the armed forces who gave sacrifices of their lives for the motherland but cannot salute those who abrogate the Constitution.
Asma spoke of the double standards of politicians, saying that while in opposition they speak of the Constitution and law but once in power their acts and deeds become undemocratic. She said the present rulers will have to make their actions democratic so as to ensure a bright democratic future for the country.
Referring to the significant role of Lahore in the affairs of the country, the former SCBA president said every good or bad movement starts from this city, pointing out that the people from the capital of Punjab support democracy and it is also the place from where people stand along with dictators.
She said no institution should bring people on the streets in its support as this would start a race of “This is mine and this is not mine.” She warned that such an attitude would not be in the interest of the country. She said they are fighting their war of truth and rights through legal arguments and this would go on.
Human Right Commission of Pakistan Chairman IA Rehman in his address said that first convention of the PFUJ was held in Dhaka in which journalists had opposed the imposition of martial law and thereafter withstood the martial law regimes of Ayub, Zia and Musharraf. He said General Ziaul Haq had banned 22 newspapers with one stroke of his pen, but neither journalism nor journalists died, while Ziaul Haq exists nowhere. He said the people are eager to adopt journalism as a career despite the fact that some organisations do not give salaries regularly or appointment letters to their staff. He welcomed the influx of women in journalism, declaring that this may help minimise the element of extremism.