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PPP To Legally Oppose Ban On Word ‘Selected’ In National Assembly

ISLAMABAD: The Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Qasim Suri banned the use of the word ‘selected’ to describe Prime Minister Imran Khan in a ruling on Sunday. The term is said to have been coined and popularized by Bilawal Bhutto after the recent national elections amid claims that they were rigged to favour the now ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Pakistan People’s Party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari questioned the legitimacy of the ban, and said that his party will be consulting with lawyers to challenge this move. While having an informal discussion with reporters, he said parliamentarians must deliberate over whether the government even has the legitimate authority to impose such a ban, implying that it is an infringement on the right to freedom of expression.

PPP’s senator Sherry Rehman said the ban on the word selected was a testament to the Premier’s insecurity. She added that the ban only validates the implication that Imran Khan was handpicked for Pakistan’s highest office, and that if this wasn’t the case why is the term such cause for concern? She also pointed out what she referred to as inconsistency and hypocrisy on the prime minister’s part, as he used terms such as thieves and dacoits (dangerous armed robbers) to describe members of the opposition. Activists, journalists and other politicians joined in on the criticism of the move to ban the term.

Earlier this year, PEMRA had sent out a notification advising news channels to abstain from using “funny memes” and animations to demean politicians and members of law enforcement agencies.

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