Islamabad, 12 July, 2023 (GNP): Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb has rejected reports of a senior journalist’s alleged removal from the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) on Tuesday by saying that he was never a PTV employee but only a member of an analyst pool for the state broadcaster.
According to the sources, the ‘contract’ of journalist Azam Chaudhry brought to an end soon after he asked the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif an exasperating question about the “diminishing space for freedom of speech” and curbs on media in Pakistan during a press conference in Lahore.
However, Azam, who also serves as a president of the Lahore Press Club stated that shortly after the premier’s press conference at the Governor House, he was told “he was no more with PTV” and asked to off-air from a program he was supposed to record from the venue.
Meanwhile, Marriyum dismissed the reports by saying those were “false and baseless”, claiming Azam had never been a PTV employee.
She further said that the journalist was a member of an issue-based analyst pool only at the PTV and had not asked to leave or dismissed from the pool.
In a tweet, she clarified that nothing of the sort has been communicated to him which circulated in the news, and he is still part of the PTV Lahore’s pool of analysts.
Moreover, the minister stated that the government was well aware of the thoughts and opinions of the journalist when he was invited to the press conference.
“If the government wanted to suppress his voice or questions, he would not have been invited and given an opportunity to ask his questions. The prime minister answered his questions in detail,” she added.
Criticizing the former government led by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Marriyum asserted that PM Shehbaz and the present government truly believed in media freedom.