Federal Information and Broadcasting Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said the government respects the opinion of state institutions, but the decision falls on the prime minister.
“Imran Khan is the prime minister of a nuclear state … he and the cabinet make collective decisions,” the minister said during the BBC’s tough talks program. Responding to questions, he also warned program hosts about undermining Pakistan’s elected government when Prime Minister Imran Khan won millions of votes in the last general election.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan is the most popular leader in Pakistan because the people who voted for him are still his passionate fans,” he said. “In the upcoming general election, Imran Khan will gain a majority of votes and be re-elected as Prime Minister for a second term.,” he added.
When asked, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that the media in Pakistan really enjoy freedom. “Freedom of expression is a fundamental and democratic right guaranteed by Pakistan’s Constitution. Pakistan is one of the freest countries in terms of media,” he said. “With 43 foreign channels, including the BBC, 112 local private channels, 258 FM stations, and 1,569 print media outlets, how can the government be accused of harassing the press? “he asked.
Regarding the ban on local TV channels by the BBC, Fawad said the BBC was the most-watched international channel in Pakistan and the government had never blocked its broadcasts. BBC journalists, he added, will have the right to broadcast their programs in accordance with local laws.
When asked about the attack on a journalist, the Minister of Finance said he immediately understood. A high-ranking police officer is investigating him and those responsible for the crime are arrested. He said there was no reason to accuse an institution of assault without conclusive evidence. “Individual incidents like that happen all over the world … Pakistan is no exception,” he added.