ISLAMABAD: Sindh’s “immature politicians” should stop the killing of journalists who unveil truths instead of accusing the ruling party of subjugation of the press, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Wednesday.
Her remarks came after PPP chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari accused the ruling PTI of implementing a sustained and systematic campaign to repress the press and rob media personnel of their rights.
“This immature politician should take steps with regard to the murder of journalists in Sindh,” Dr Awan said, throwing a jibe at the PPP leader while addressing the media here in the federal capital.
“Bilawal sahab, this government has no such agenda! We plan to introduce legislation for the protection of journalists against the [so-called] ‘freedoms’ you have provided them in Sindh,” she added.
“Bilawal should provide justice to the family of a journalist who was killed in Sindh [last month]. The systematic killing of journalists who speak the truth should be stopped,” the special assistant remarked.
She was referring to the murder of Aziz Memon, who had earlier accused Bhutto’s party and Naushehro Feroze police of threatening him for his unflattering reporting of Bhutto’s widely-publicised ‘train march’ in 2019.
Awan also slammed the PPP over the state of public institutions in Sindh, saying the PPP had run them into the ground and “left them in such a condition that the incumbent government cannot revive them”.
Govt ‘sympathetic to the people’
“We are regulating institutions such as [the Pakistan] Steel Mills, which were left in shambles [by the PPP],” Dr Awan said, referring to the steel and heavy metal products entity which Prime Minister Imran Khan had decided to hand over to China late last year for revival via a government-to-government deal.
“This a government that is sympathetic to the people; this prime minister is not in power to run his personal businesses,” she added.
Turning then to the previous ruling party of Pakistan, the SAPM lambasted the politics of the PML-N, saying its ideas about ‘leadership’ and conducting business were confined to handing over important positions to their leaders’ children.
‘Huge discovery for medical science’
On former premier Nawaz Sharif, who is in London for medical treatment, she said: “How can a medical report be released when no patient was admitted [to a hospital]? Documents from the time between [Nawaz Sharif’s] admission and discharge [from a hospital] can not be presented.
“It seems as if they have just conjured up [their story about Nawaz Sharif’s] surgery. The patient is resting at home but has a severe cardiac condition. If his cardiac condition is so serious, how can he be sitting at home? [It seems as if] the patient is keeping up a charade,” Dr Awan added.
“This patient has had six heart stents implanted in the body but remains cheerful and sits at home. This is a huge discovery for medical science, Please do tell us this formula [for cardiac well-being],” she remarked sarcastically.
“The PML-N representatives should give me this formula so I can offer it to other heart patients too,” she added.