Minister Fawad Chaudhry Says Dawn Newspaper Part Of 'International Conspiracy' Against Pakistan

Minister Fawad Chaudhry Says Dawn Newspaper Part Of 'International Conspiracy' Against Pakistan
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry has said that DAWN newspaper is part of an international 'Laissez-Faire conspiracy' against Pakistan.

Talking to anchor Absa Komal during a show on Dawn TV, the minister said, "Unfortunately Dawn newspaper actively participates in an international conspiracy hatched to malign Pakistan."

He went on to say that issues like freedom of expression and FATF [which is linked to the extremism problem] are unnecessarily highlighted in a bid to 'activate' international regulators. "Such issues are deliberately hyped to show that things are bad in Pakistan," the minister said.

Interestingly, Fawad Chaudhry expressed these views when he was asked by the host to give an update on the probe into attacks on journalists in Islamabad.

Social media users criticised the minister's statement, saying that he was trying to justify violent attacks on media persons by levelling unfounded allegations.

Earlier, the minister had made similar claims about Geo and Jang group during a talk show. Critics say government's aggressive tone against journalists enables PTI supporters' problematic behaviour online wherein they attack media persons critical of the government. Apart from cyber harassment, journalists in Pakistan have also been at the receiving end of violence and intimidation.

On Monday, a petition filed against journalists' harassment was withdrawn by the movers, saying that the victims would get justice on the Day of Judgement'. Journalist Amir Mir, who was briefly detained by the FIA last month, wrote that he had reasons to believe that he would not be able to get justice.

In July, Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF), an international organisation working for freedom of expression, had published a gallery with portraits of ‘predators of press freedom’ — 37 world leaders who have been curbing free speech in their countries. Prime Minister Imran Khan was included in the list alongside Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and 34 other world leaders.