LAHORE: On the eve of the World Press Freedom Day, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has assured the media of Pakistan that PPP will end impunity of crimes against journalists as a manifesto pledge.
“It is a sad thought on this day that scores of journalists in Pakistan have been killed and harmed. During the last decade the perpetrators of crimes have escaped prosecution in almost every case,” he said and added, “This impunity of crimes must end; it will”.
“The party will appoint an independent Special Public Prosecutor to pursue cases of crimes against journalists and also create a Journalists Protection Fund to assist victim journalists and their families,” he said.
Zardari said that those who attack journalists and commit crimes against them are those who fear freedom of expression and articulation of pluralistic ideas. The party will expose these elements and also bring them to justice.
“The party will also reverse the tide of systematic erosion of freedom of expression in the name of ideology and national security,” he added.
He said that free flow of information and ideas empowers citizens and this requires that media persons must be able to perform their duties without fear.
Zardari urged organs of the state to bring the perpetrators of crimes against journalists to justice for removing misgivings in this regard.
“I also wish to pay tribute to all those journalists who have braved odds while performing their duties under difficult and dangerous conditions,” he said.