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Minister Murtaza Solangi's U-turn on freedom of expression draws criticism

 JournalismPakistan.com
 August 29, 2023

Minister Murtaza Solangi's U-turn on freedom of expression draws criticism

ISLAMABAD—Minister for Information Murtaza Solangi is under fire for changing his stance on freedom of expression, with novelist Mohammad Hanif doubting his journalistic credentials.

Before joining the caretaker government of Prime Minister Anwarul Haq Kakar, Solangi in a number of tweets supported and appreciated human rights activist Imaan Mazari, daughter of former minister for human rights Shrieen Mazari. Currently behind bars, Imaan is facing cases for provocation against state institutions.

In October 2020 and January 2022 when the PTI was in power, Solangi backed and appreciated Imaan for her work.

However, as the caretaker information minister, he condemned Imaan's speech at a PTM rally in Islamabad this month as a condemnable act.  He told The Guardian that he cannot imagine the result of such speeches. Pakistan is a nuclear state. How can someone say that the commander or the chief of army in the Headquarters is involved in terrorism?

When it was pointed out that before joining the caretaker government, he was applauding Imaan Mazari for successfully defending activists and journalists, Mohammad Hanif wondered: Never seen him do any journalism. Has anyone?

Mahim Maher, a former city editor of Express Tribune, thought the information minister should never be allowed to say he is a journalist again.  In another post on X, she said, he didn’t even have the brains to say something differently-peddles the same tripe.  

Another user on X shared a tweet of Murtaza where he supports PTM for exercising fundamental rights and going ahead with a rally.

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