‘Democracy will die’
Supports from political parties, student unions and members of civil society have continued to pour in for Pakistani journalists who are protesting against the proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) bill.
The protesting journalists have been protesting since Sunday outside the parliament.
On Sunday night, senior opposition leaders including former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi visited the protest site outside the parliament to express solidarity with the journalists.
Addressing the protesterson Monday, PML-N leader Ahsan Iqbal lambasted the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government for "attacking and attempting to muzzle" the media.
Referring to the PMDA bill, he dubbed it a "conspiracy" and said if the bill was passed, "democracy will die in this country".
Later, PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari addressed the protest, saying that journalists in the country had bravely fought against and defeated former president Pervez Musharraf in the past, and they would also put up a fight against the incumbent government and its decisions challenging media freedom.
He announced that the PPP would join journalist protests across the country.
PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif too railed against the bill, terming it a "black law" and expressing solidarity with journalists.
"The government doesn't have the guts to pass it and we won't allow it," he thundered. Shehbaz warned the government against passing the "black law" otherwise it would have to bear the consequences.
Inside the parliament, Pakistan opposition members staged a vigorous protest against the PMDA bill during President Alvi's address. Carrying banners such as "We reject media martial law" and "Opposition rejects PMDA", they shouted slogans against the government and PM Imran Khan.