Imran advises Establishment to accept criticism, saying censorship not the solution | #socialmedia

ISLAMABAD: The former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said that Pakistan is suffering from flagrant censorship in the country’s history which was not even the case during the martial laws. He advised the Establishment to bear criticism.

While addressing a seminar organized by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) in Islamabad, the former prime minister emphasized that no society could progress without freedom of expression.

He said that he never tried to ‘bribe’ media nor that any journalist was ‘picked up’ on his instructions but rather had ‘other reasons’.

The PTI chief questioned the characters who played their role in letting the alleged US conspiracy against the elected government be successful. He criticized that the president sent the cipher to the chief justice but deliberate attempts were made to wrap up the issue and it was told that such ciphers were a routine thing.

He also criticized that the Supreme Court (SC) has threatened on the cipher issue instead of carrying out an inquiry. Khan said that the government did not try to influence judicial matters during PTI tenure.

“Democracy is always based on moral values. The United Kingdom (UK) maintains moral values that preserve democracy in its original shape. Freedom of expression and character assassination is discouraged there just because they have better moral standards. I have never seen such things in Pakistan.”

Khan said In the UK, Boris Johnson was removed from his office for telling a lie. But here, Shehbaz Sharif and his son were made the prime minister and chief minister when they are going to face indictment. Hamza Shahbaz becomes an unconstitutional chief minister in Punjab and the government machinery is being used to win the by-polls.

Imran Khan also said that a strong army was necessary for the country. He expressed concerns over negative trends on social media and said that the whole world was planning to control social media.

Khan said that the whole nation was looking toward the establishment as they have power. He continued that constructive criticism was necessary to improve the governance issues which will also benefit the establishment. “Journalists should be allowed for constructive criticism otherwise we would never be able to differentiate between right and wrong.”

Referring to the ‘neutrals’, the PTI chairman said, “Everyone makes mistakes.” However, he added that constructive criticism was essential and opposed the practice of action against faultfinders on even against ‘little’ criticism.

He said that a strong army was Pakistan’s requirement and feared that the distance between the army and people is widening which he termed as ‘threatening’ if no remedy was taken for it.

The establishment needs to reflect to not rush to action against the journalists and those criticizing the Pakistan Army as this practice was tarnishing the image of the military.

He contended that it was the era of social media and the flow of information could not be stopped. “Nobody can control social media,” Imran Khan argued.

The former prime minister was of the view that fair and free elections were the only solution left to stabilize the country.

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