Media censorship is never in country’s interest, says PM Abbasi

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Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said that his government did not believe in resorting to media censorship but urged the media to adopt a mechanism for self-regulation.

Speaking at the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) Awards ceremony in Islamabad, the prime minister said media censorship was not possible in today’s age of social media and the internet.

Even in the past, he said, all efforts to censor the media did not prove to be fruitful.

“You may achieve short-term gains by imposing censorship on media, but it never goes in the country’s interests,” he stressed.

Prime Minister Abbasi claimed that his government has discontinued the practice of using secret funds by the Intelligence Bureau for media.

He said governments of bygone days used to spend billions through IB’s secret funds, but the PML-N government did not spend a single penny in this regard.

The prime minister said every government had complaints with the media, and he too had some grievances, but that the PML-N government always tried to ensure press freedom and right of expression in the country.

“We always tried not to put any pressure on journalists and not to lure them with offers. Our government made every effort to ensure freedom of expression,” he claimed.

Abbasi urged media outlets to objectively highlight the government’s achievements and refrain from highlighting negative news.

“Positives are always important for the country. Negative news causes concern among the masses,” he said.

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