Imran’s tenure was black era for press freedom: Marriyum

ISLAMABAD    -   Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said Saturday that Sunday’s by-elections in Punjab would bury the narrative and politics of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

“Today, Imran Khan admitted his defeat in his speech, the way Imran Khan was talking, it seemed that his language and mind were not under his control, and this only happens when a person is scared, defeated, rejected and failed,” she said while addressing a press conference here.

Taking a dig at the PTI chairman, she said Imran Khan was fully aware that these four things were in him; he had been rejected and failed, he had already lost the crucial bye-election. “The people of Punjab have declared war against the unemployment, inflation and economic destruction caused by Imran Khan who has given nothing but pain to the people in the country during four years”, she maintained.

She said that Imran Khan made all out efforts to push the country into a Sri Lanka like economic crisis.

In the by-elections, the party will emerge victorious which always brought Pakistan out of economic crises and led it towards economic stability, she said.

The PML-N took steps to reduce inflation by taking people out of record inflation, and it was the only party that could overcome loadshedding and it freed the country from the scourge of terrorism, broke the back of the terrorists and restored the peace.

Terming Imran Khan a habitual liar and a failed politician, she said he only knew the art of lying and misleading the masses. She said PML-N leaders Nawaz Sharif and Shehbaz Sharif entrusted the

responsibility of election campaign for Punjab bye-elections to Maryam Nawaz who fulfilled the responsibility in an exemplary manner.

She said according to the conditions and delimitation of constituencies in Punjab, the Pakistan Muslim League (N) had a clear edge there and owing to the wonderful campaign led by Maryam Nawaz,

there was enthusiasm and spirit in the public meetings of PML-N.

Rubbishing Imran Khan’s claim that the media enjoyed complete freedom during his rule and there were no restrictions and censorship on the media, the minister quoted Reporters with Borders reports which

stated that during the reign of Imran Khan, there were strict restrictions on the media.

“Cases of brazen censorship were legion since Khan became prime minister. Newspaper distribution had been interrupted and media outlets were threatened with the withdrawal of advertising and TV channel

signals have been jammed. Journalists who cross the red lines have been threatened, abducted and tortured”, she said while reading the Reporters Without Borders Report.

She said during the period of Imran Khan, restrictions were imposed on media institutions, channels were closed, there were threats to the lives of reporters, she quoted the report as saying and added that The Reporters Without Borders report was the “memoir of Imran Khan”.

During Imran Khan’s tenure, female journalists were attacked and campaigns were launched against them on social media and in this connection she mentioned the names of Asma Sheerazi, Ghareeda Farooqui and Amber Shamsi.

The minister saluted the journalists who stood firm during the Imran Khan dictatorial rule.

Marriyum recalled that Imran Khan crushed his political opponents by sending them to death cells of prisons as soon as he came to power and contrary to his claim of freedom of expression cowardly Imran

Khan blocked the voice of Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on the TV

screen, even their tickers were not allowed on TV screens.

When Shehbaz Sharif used to come to the court, Imran Khan would order the administration to speak so loudly on the loudspeaker that no one could hear Shehbaz Sharif’s voice, she said. During Imran

Khan’s tenure, PFUJ organised protest demonstrations and demanded an end to the media gag and protests by journalistic organizations during Imran Khan’s tenure were part of the record and history.

The minister said that when Imran Khan was in power, he took his political opponents off air from the TV screen, paralysed all the state institutions, and made the Prime Minister House a hub for kidnappers to fulfill his political ambitions.

Imran Khan only made baseless allegations against his political opponents in his four years but he could not prove even a single charge as all his claims were mere propaganda and no corruption, money

laundering or misuse of power was done.

No former ruler ever used their family women for corruption like Imran Khan, who used his spouse Bushra Bibi for converting Bani Gala to Money Gala whereas Bushra Bibi used her front person Farah Gogi for corruption.

The minister said Imran Khan gave lectures on honesty in such a way as if he was pious, but whenever he opened his mouth, he abused and threatened his political opponents. Talking about Imran Khan’s tirade against Election Commission, she said it was the outcome of the frustration after rejection of his

request for a secret meeting with the Chief Election Commissioner.

Moreover the PTI was attacking the ECP because the case of foreign funding had been reserved.

Today, they know that fair and transparent elections are being held in the country, now there is no Farah Gogi and Buzdar in Punjab who can help you win the election by corruption, Marriyum said.

She reminded Imran that unlike Daska by-elections, now his party did not have the power to pick up Election Commission staff along with ballot boxes to rig the elections but now they have indulged in vote

buying tactics by getting identity cards of the voters as Imran Khan and his party were addicted to election theft and rigging.

Imran Khan sent the youth of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to Punjab for mischief and hooliganism as he wanted to force brothers of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to fight for petty personal interests of this power-hungry man.

She said that if anyone indulges in hooliganism or tries to create chaos and anarchy, law will take its course. She said that the people of Pakistan were politically conscious and they knew the reality of Imran who pushed the country to the brink of bankruptcy.

She said Imran forced the president, the speaker and deputy speaker of the National Assembly to violate the constitution and earned the dubious distinction of being sacked from power after transgressing

the Constitution.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt