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ISLAMABAD:
Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Monday that the opposition shouldn't lecture the government on freedom of expression, saying the highest number of attacks on journalists were carried out during their eras.

Responding to questions raised regarding the safety of journalists, during the National Assembly session, Fawad said that, "A consistent propaganda is ongoing with some elements at home supporting it."

"Criticism by the opposition and some journalists may be based on rightful intentions and I don't want to contradict them, but I want to tell you that the highest number of attacks on journalists were carried out during the tenure of Pakistan People's Party, followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz."

"[As for the incumbent government], we have taken measures to ensure journalists' safety," the minister added.

He claimed that the government nabbed all those responsible for the murder of journalists and brought them before the law.

Information war

"This is an era of information war and it is about opinion and perception-building in order to convey one's stance to others," Fawad said.

"This is the fight of today and it is [indeed] Pakistan's fight [too]," he remarked.

"Today, tweets are generated from some quarters in India, they get a boost from Afghanistan and then it all comes here and some foolish friends of ours intentionally or unintentionally become a part of it."

National digital policy

The minister reiterated that a digital media policy was in the works, saying PTV [Pakistan Television] will be made a high-definition channel in the first week of August.

"Similarly, the Associated Press of Pakistan will be brought at par with the international news agencies, while Radio Pakistan will also be completely digitised during the said time span," he said.

Concluding, he advised the PPP to move forward with the Journalists Protection Bill and play their due role in turning it into a law.

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