We must distribute work regarding freedom of expression and everybody should play their part for it, this was stated by leading lawyer and senior director of AGHS Legal Aid Cell, Asma Jahangir at a consultation on attack on freedom of expression organized by AGHS Legal Aid Cell in collaboration with Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) here in Lahore on Friday.

People from different walks of life participated in this consultation including journalists and lawyers to discuss and address issues and flaws regarding freedom of expression.

Commenting on the law of freedom of expression, human rights defender and acclaimed journalist IA Rehman said government made so many changes to this law that it has lost its important.

Veteran journalist Dr Mehdi Hasan said, “There is no complete freedom of expression. Article 19 of the constitution doesn’t bestow us with freedom of expression.”

Talking about the restraints faced by journalists, former NCA principal Nazish Attaullah commented that there are great limitations on journalists, especially those working in Balochistan, where you have to be very cautious as your sources could be implicated.

Veteran Journalist and analyst Imtiaz Alam opined that freedom of expression is compromised. “Ninety per cent of our media is controlled. All talk shows are regulated. Clearance of a license for a channel is also controlled. Freedom of expression must be controlled only if it is creating hate.”

Senator Farhatullah Babar said that in the name of national security, expression is controlled and information is denied. “In the name of national Security, not even parliament is informed. National security is extended to such extent that media is adopting self censorship,” said Babar.