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Journalists stage protest sit-in outside Parliament House against PDMA

The journalists fraternity staged a protest sit-in in front of the Parliament House on Sunday against the government’s plan to bulldoze the Pakis­tan Media Development Autho­rity (PMDA) legislation through a joint sitting of parliament.

The protesting journalists marched from the National Press Club and reached outside the Parliament House where they planned to stay overnight, as they said the sit-in would continue till President Dr Arif Alvi’s address to the joint session of parliament, which is scheduled to assemble at 4pm on Monday (today).

The president will address the joint sitting at the advent of the fourth parliamentary year of the incumbent government.

As per reports, Opposition parties have already planned to disrupt the president’s speech before staging a walk-out and holding demonstrations outside the Parliament House.

Addressing the protesters, senior journalists representing various associations of media workers vowed to resist the government move to enforce the PMDA, terming it an effort to gag the press.

PFUJ general secretary Nasir Zaidi in his speech said the journalist community had rejected the proposed PMDA because it was meant to stifle the voice of media.

Senior journalist Afzal Butt said many attempts had been made in the past too to silence the media by dictators, but journalists successfully fought for their rights and this time too, the journalist community would protect freedom of the press.

The government through the PMDA was trying to impose ‘media martial law’, said senior journalist Imtiaz Alam. He reminded the relevant authorities that in digital age one could not stop fake news until journalists were allowed to work independently and speak the truth.

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