Punjab Assembly Witnesses Rumpus Over Controversial Defamation Bill 2024

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Punjab Assembly witnesses rumpus over controversial Defamation Bill 2024

The opposition parties and journalists launched vigorous protests against the bill within the assembly premises.

LAHORE: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-May 20th, 2024) Punjab Assembly session, chaired by Speaker Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan, witnessed rumpus with the government's introduction of the controversial Defamation Bill 2024.

Within the assembly premises, opposition parties and journalists launched vigorous protests against the bill.

Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman presented the contentious bill during the session, sparking intense opposition from members within the Punjab Assembly. Opposition leader Malik Ahmad Khan Bachar spearheaded the protest on the house floor, with members vehemently opposing the bill and displaying placards denouncing it as a "black law," demanding its immediate withdrawal.

Opposition leader Ahmad Khan Bachar argued that the Defamation Bill 2024 was draconian, firmly stating their refusal to endorse it. Meanwhile, Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman opposed sending the bill back to the committee, citing extensive prior debate on the issue.

In solidarity, journalists boycotted the assembly session and staged boisterous demonstrations on the assembly's stairs. Arshad Ansari, President of the Lahore Press Club, condemned the government's crackdown on the media, denouncing recent events as undemocratic.

He recalled the PML-N's vehement opposition to the PECA Ordinance during its tenure and emphasized that journalists would not tolerate any law that curtails press freedom.

Ansari questioned the whereabouts of the 300 billion worth of wheat imports and challenged the government's response.

He cautioned that protests would extend nationwide beyond Lahore and reiterated their determination to block entry into assemblies, rallying against the Black Law.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.