Shehbaz Sharif slams Imran after media watchdog downgrades Pakistan
Islamabad, May 4 (IANS) Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday berated former premier Imran Khan for media censorship during the PTI tenure and said that his government is fully committed to freedom of press and speech in the country, media reports said.
In his statement, which came a day after the World Press Freedom Day, Sharif said that Pakistan slipped 12 places on the World Press Freedom Index during the last year of Imran Khan's government and 18 points during his tenure, Geo News reported.
"It not only earned him the shameful title of ‘press freedom predator', but also placed our democracy in a bad light," Sharif tweeted, slamming PTI chairman Imran Khan for imposing curbs on media during his stint as the Prime Minister of Pakistan.
Sharif's statement, quoting the annual report of Reporters Without Borders (RSF), said that his government is "fully committed to freedom of press and speech".
In its report, the RSF painted a bleak picture of media freedom in Pakistan, ranking the country 157th out of 180 with a score of 37.99.
Pakistan was at 145th spot last year on the list with a score of 53.14.
The International World Press Freedom Day was observed across the globe on Tuesday. This year's theme for the day was 'Journalism Under Digital Siege', which highlighted the multiple ways in which journalism is endangered by surveillance and digitally-mediated attacks on journalists, and the consequences of all this on public trust in digital communications.