KPC flays govt for imposing ‘fresh curbs’ on media freedom – The Express Tribune

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Official statement says amendments to PECA reek of an attempt by elements ‘enjoying near limitless powers’
The Karachi Press Club (KPC) has expressed dismay over PTI-led government’s alleged attempts to impose fresh curbs on the freedom of speech and expression that “Pakistani citizens are constitutionally entitled to”.
“Through a presidential ordinance, itself an inherently undemocratic tool for legislation, the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PT) has slapped fresh amendments onto the black law known as PECA (Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act) without considering what repercussions this will have on Pakistan’s citizenry,” read a statement issued by the KPC on Tuesday.
Despite loud and serious concerns raised by media’s representative bodies, the government has proceeded blindly down this path, it added.
The media body condemned what it described as the latest attempt by the government to make a mockery of Pakistan’s social, political and democratic systems.
“In its narrow, selfish worldview, the PTI seems more willing to take a knife to Pakistan’s democratic traditions rather than to accommodate and acknowledge criticism of its leaders and their flawed policies,” it added.
Also read: Govt defends PECA move amid heavy criticism
The KPC maintained that amendments to PECA reek of an attempt by individuals and groups who are already enjoying near limitless powers as functionaries of government and state to “shut up any voice that rises against them”.
The amendments, the KPC said will only expose vulnerable citizens to “mental and physical torture” by the state just because someone in power does not like what they have to say.
The Karachi Press Club warned the government that these short-sighted, hastily conceived restrictions will one day come back to haunt the PTI and its leaders, “just like the black PECA law has come haunted supporters of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) after its government was ousted from power”.

“These amendments must be taken back. Saner voices in the government and its allies must prevail. This is an inherently undemocratic step by the ruling government that challenges and subverts everything this country’s founding father envisioned for its people,” read the official statement.
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