This letter refers to the editorial ‘Silencing criticism’ (October 2, 2023). Pakistan’s track record on press freedom is quite pathetic. It ranks 150 out of 180 countries on the World Press Freedom Index. The Peca bill, in my opinion, was basically a tool to use against journalists and successive governments have only made the law more draconian. The majority of journalists are highly responsible and observe the relevant rules and regulations and the laws should not impede them from speaking the truth.
In this advanced age of technology, no government can hide anything from the media. Therefore, there is a need to change our mindset instead of making new, repressive laws. The laws must protect people instead of enabling governments to use coercive methods against the people and the media, as pointed out in the editorial. A free press is vital to the overall wellbeing of the nation.