On Monday, President of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi said freedom of the press is their hallmark and they “will not surrender this cause at any cost.” They said journalists were also facing cuts in pay and thousands had become jobless.
Mazhar Abbas, who often reports for Pakistan’s independent Geo Television, told The Associated Press that curbs on media and attacks on journalists increased in recent years. So far, he said, it's not known whether the state has punished those linked to the abduction or harassment of journalists.
He said the country's media regulatory body issued more than 12,000 notices to media people, newspapers, and news channels. Abbas said media in Pakistan was facing censorship for which the state uses different tactics, including telling media through the media regulatory body what can be reported and what cannot be reported. News channels are taken off air by the media regulatory body if press advice is not complied with, he said.
However, Fawad Chaudhry, Pakistan's information minister, said in a statement that Pakistan's government regards the freedom of the press as a “fundamental, democratic and constitutional right."
He did not address the allegations by the leaders of the journalists' association.