Islamabad (Web Desk): The World Press Freedom Day was observed across the globe including Pakistan on Wednesday to create awareness about importance of press freedom and role of journalists in promoting democracy and defending human rights.
The theme for this year's World Press Freedom Day is “Shaping a Future of Rights: Freedom of Expression as a Driver for all other human rights”.
In a video message in New York on World Press Freedom Day, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for greater solidarity with media persons saying disinformation, hate speech and deadly attacks against journalists are threatening freedom of the press worldwide.
He said freedom of the press is the foundation of democracy and justice and it gives all of us the facts we need to shape opinions and speak truth to power.
The day aims to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has paid glowing tributes to journalists across the world, particularly those in Pakistan, for the commendable work they are doing to inform and educate the people, the Radio Pakistan reported.
In a tweet on Wednesday, the premier said the environment in which journalists work is often full of challenges and risks and yet they never falter in their responsibility.
PM Shehbaz said that the watchdog role of journalism has helped the ideas of democracy and transparent governance evolve.
On World Press Freedom Day, I pay glowing tributes to journalists across the world, particularly those in Pakistan for the commendable work they are doing to inform & educate the people. The environment in which they work is often full of challenges & risks and yet they never…— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) May 3, 2023
Foreign Minister (FM) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in his message on the occasion, reiterated to continue to play leadership role in protecting media freedom and journalists' rights in the country.
The FM said that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) will continue taking every possible step to create an ideal environment for press freedom in the country by promoting the media literacy among the people.
"We believe in further expansion and consistent implementation of the Right to Information laws," FM Bilawal said.
FM Bilawal said that Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and former President Asif Ali Zardari during their tenures abolished the draconian laws imposed on the press by the dictators and gave full freedom to the press.
He also strongly condemned India's restrictions on press in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and emphasized that the international community, including the journalist bodies must play their role against brutality being carried out against journalists in the occupied valley.
In a statement on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the incumbent coalition government fully believes in freedom of media and would continue to take practical measures to protect journalists.
"Now journalism in Pakistan is enjoying complete freedom," she said.
The information minister said that the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees freedom of press and citizens' right to access accurate information.