‘Freedom of expression is integral to human freedom’: Imran Khan

Chairman PTI and former Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed a seminar under the theme: 'Freedom of Expression & Protection of Media' on Thursday where numerous senior journalists and media personalities were present.

‘Freedom of expression is integral to human freedom’: Imran Khan

Addressing the seminar, Imran Khan said that those societies prosper where rule of law, accountability of government and freedom of expression is ensured. “Only a free country can go upward, a slave country won’t”, he added.

Imran Khan further said that freedom of expression is an integral part of human freedom. “Only those nations rise and prosper where people enjoy mental freedom”, he said.

Imran Khan also said that he has never been afraid of free media. “They [the incumbent government] are afraid of media because they are corrupt, hence they want to control media”, he said.

“However, freedom of expression does not mean that you are free to disrespect anyone, freedom of expression must entail a check and balance mechanism so that a person must be able to clear his name of any accusation through defamation case”, Imran Khan said while expressing his views on the subject matter.

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He said that freedom of expression, if exercised without responsibility, can prove detrimental, referring to the incident when he was falsely accused by Najam Sethi during his time in Prime Minister office, and despite being the Prime Minister he was not able to commence a case against him in the court.

“Corruption is a symptom of no rule of law in a country”, he said in his keynote address. He differentiated between the rule of law and rule of power saying that in rule of law the strongmen of society are not beyond the law.

Criticizing General Pervez Musharraf for the NRO, Imran Khan said that he had no right to grant pardon to the corrupt politicians as a corrupt politician steals from the money of public.

“How can you let these people [PDM] be imposed on our country while you had yourself exposed their corruption”, Imran Khan went on to question the establishment of the country. He said his vision behind the formation of the Rehmatulil Alameen authority was to revive morality among the nation by teaching our children Seerat-un-Nabi (the life of Prophet Muhammad P.B.U.H). “When a society profess good deeds and prohibits bad deeds, the whole society becomes engaged in fighting corruption”, he said. “When a society is not capable of differentiating between good and bad, it dies”, he added.

Imran Khan criticized the oppressive tactics employed by the incumbent government against renowned journalists such as Ayaz Amir, Arshad Sharif, Sabir Shakir; and ARY News. He also criticized the torture against Shahbaz Gill, pointing out that he has been subjected to the worst kind of physical and mental torture in order to get a statement from him against Imran Khan.

Lastly Imran Khan urged ‘neutral’—the term he uses to refer to the establishment—to review their policies and decision while there is still time. He warned that correct decisions need to be taken immediately otherwise the country will suffer.

While addressing the seminar, Imran Riaz Khan strongly criticized the oppressive crackdown against media and journalists by the government. “If by silencing us you will provide cheap petrol and electricity do it now, he said.

Similarly, senior journalist Ayaz Amir also criticized the government for the oppressive tactics it have deployed to suppress free speech.

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