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PTI MNA Tried To Silence Female Journalists Talking About Online Harassment Before NA Committee

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Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Attaullah Khan, who is also a member of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights, has said the allegations levelled by women journalists regarding online harassment by the supporters of the ruling party was ‘a conspiracy against the government’.

Khan had made these comments during a session of the human rights committee that was held to listen to the complaints of the journalists. In a video of the meeting that has gone viral, Attaullah Khan can be seen complaining about not being allowed to speak, while he constantly interrupted the session.

He said the issue of harassment was not new, trying to dodge the question at hand by bringing up the issue of ARY reporter Iqrarul Hassan. He also asked the committee to hear his viewpoint instead of these women journalists complaining of harassment.

On Aug 19, several women journalists informed the NA body regarding the online harassment and hate speech faced by them for doing their job.

Asma Shirazi, one of the signatories of the statement, had claimed the women journalists were being harassed for their ‘difference of opinion’. “Twice, people have broken into my house to harass me. I don’t know if the PTI’s media cell or anyone else is involved in this harassment,” Shirazi had alleged.

During the meeting, Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari had assured the women journalists that action would be taken against culprits if they could provide proof that the trolls were affiliated with the ruling PTI.

According to Mazari, she had spoken to the PTI’s official social media team, and ‘they told me they do not engage in harassment’.


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