PTV journalist fired for 'questioning' PM on freedom of expression

A journalist alleges that he was fired from his position at Pakistan Television (PTV), a state-owned broadcaster, after posing a critical question to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif about the diminishing space for free media in the country.

Azam Chaudhry, the President of the Lahore Press Club (LPC), had been hired as an analyst by PTV but was dismissed on the same day after asking the premier a challenging question. Chaudhry claims that he has not received any written notification from his employer regarding his termination.

During a press conference at the Punjab Governor's House on June 30, where the prime minister was accompanied by federal ministers Ishaq Dar and Marriyum Aurangzeb, the journalist inquired about when the undisclosed restrictions on the media would be lifted.

Chaudhry emphasized that his question represented the entire journalist community in the country, stating that they were currently facing media bans across Pakistan.

He told the prime minister that the present period was marked by severe restrictions and asked when and how these restrictions on the media would come to an end. Chaudhry pointed out that despite claims from all parties, including PML-N and PPP, about supporting freedom of expression, the reality was quite different.

In response, the prime minister disclaimed favoring restrictions and shifted the responsibility to the information minister, urging Chaudhry to voice any legitimate concerns he had.

The prime minister expressed a reluctance to dwell on the past but acknowledged that everyone was aware of what had transpired. However, PM Shehbaz assured Chaudhry that his valid concerns should be addressed.


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