Recently Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf
(PTI) party announced the removal of state censorship on all state run media
outlets. Pakistan’s Information Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain took to twitter
to announce the newly elected government’s move to grant “complete editorial
independence” to PTV and Radio Pakistan.
“As per vision of @ImranKhanPTI Ended
political censorship on PTV, clear instructions issued for a complete editorial
independence on PTV and Radio Pakistan, drastic changes ll be visible in
Information Dept in coming 3 months Inshallah”, the tweet read.
While it is still unclear as to how
effective this move would be in practice, it is still a giant leap for Pakistan
which occupies the 139th spot in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index
Report, just one spot below India.
In his inaugural address, Imran Khan had
said that it was high time to change Pakistan’s destiny, with a need for “peace
in the region”. Khan also mentioned the need to address a range of issues from
corruption to numerous institutional reforms to “improve Pakistan’s situation”,
and this move to lift censorship is one of the earliest announcements.
Pakistan Information minister, Chaudhry
Fawad Hussain also asked the Information Ministry to “play a proactive role in
promoting a positive image of Pakistan globally and directed concerned
organisations to make earnest efforts to generate revenue by improving their
programming and content”.
As many would compare this move to be in
stark contrast with the latest developments in India, especially after the
Indian Government revoked the security clearance of Aljazeera, many in Pakistan
would agree that it is too early to celebrate and only time will tell as Khan’s
first 100 days will be heavily scrutinised.
Intifada P Basheer
(Editor- International Affairs, thecompass.in)