Media Completely Free In Pakistan, No Censorship Taking Place: PM
Prime Minister Imran Khan has claimed there is no threat to freedom of expression in Pakistan, saying the press has so much freedom that is his government that feels ‘unprotected due to its blatant propaganda’.
The prime minister made these comments in an interview with Al Jazeera.
During the interview, the prime minister downplayed threats to the journalists, saying there were no acts of violence against the journalist community during two years of his government. Maybe some journalist had claimed that he was picked up for a few hours but in these two years, there is not one instance of intimidation by the state, he said.
PM Imran said that he had spent 20 years of his life in the UK and ‘knew what freedom of speech is’. He said that if he was in the UK and the media was criticising him in such a manner, his government would ‘have claimed millions of dollars of damages’.
PM Imran called into question the definition of intimidation, saying that if fake news is published against the prime minister and the premier then decides to take that journalist to court, it should not be called intimidation as it ‘happens everywhere around the world’.
Answering a question about Pakistan’s relations with Saudi Arabia, he said that the kingdom will “always be a friend of Pakistan” however, admitting that Islamabad wanted the OIC to take a front-role when it came to the issue of occupied Kashmir.
When asked whether Islamabad with renegotiating its terms of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with Beijing, PM Imran rejected the notion, adding that Pakistan’s relationship with its ally was better than ever.
“Pakistan’s economic future is linked to China,” he said. “China is growing at a faster pace than any other country and Pakistan, you know, can really benefit from the way China has developed,” he added.
Imran said his government and the Pakistan Army enjoy an ‘excellent relationship’ and that the military stands with all ‘democratic policies of the government’.
The PM said the army and previous civilian governments had a turbulent relationship, but his government and the military stand on one page on important issues, such as foreign policies on Afghanistan and India.