The Pakistan government has launched an unprecedented crackdown on journalists supporting its opponents, former Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Sunday, warning that the country will return to the “dark days of dictatorship” if these “terror tactics” are allowed to succeed.
On Pakistan’s 75th Independence Day, Khan took to social media to warn the government that it should desist from targeting the media professionals who are carrying his message to the people.
“I want to warn our nation of an unprecedented crackdown campaign by ‘Imported’ govt & State machinery against media houses & journalists who are carrying PTI & my narrative to the public,” he tweeted.
He said two journalists, Arshad Sharif and Sabir Shakir, had to leave the country fearing for their lives, while others faced threats, violent attacks and arrest.
“In my mass public campaign across Pak from next week, I will take up the issue of media freedom & freedom of expression. If we allow these terror tactics, designed simply to target PTI & myself, to succeed, then we will be returning to the dark days of dictatorship when there was no independent media & no room for freedom of expression,” he said in another tweet.
Khan also said that “Haqeeqi Azadi” (real independence) cannot be achieved without free media and freedom of speech as guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan.
The series of tweets came a day after Khan addressed a mammoth rally in Lahore where he vowed to continue his struggle against the present government.