For the first time in the history of Pakistani ‘new media’ that a senior Pakistani journalist has been fired for posting his comments on his twitter account. Interestingly, this time action is taken by the owner of the newspaper and not by the government directly.
The Nation’s reporter Jawad R Awan has been fired for doing ‘anti-Maryam Nawaz’ tweets.
Official sources told Outlook Pakistan.com on Wednesday that Nation/Nawa-e-Waqt group owner Rameeza Nizami has sacked Jawad R Awan after he made three back to back tweets on Maryam, daughter of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, regarding Dawn Leaks issue.
“Now it is a sin to express his views on social media,” says a fellow journalist of Awan.
He questioned freedom of expression being observed by Nawa-e- Waqt group.
“How could Rameeza fire a journalist of her team mere on tweets. Was there any pressure from Ms Maryam or it was a case of more loyal than the king,” he asked.
Now an ordinary social media user would have to think thrice four expressing his views as this is seen as an unpardonable offense for which even a journalist can’t be spared.
Will any journalist body raise this grave injustice being done to journalists by the government? For our political government’s threat to democracy is faced from the military dictators or agitation of rival political parties, the ban on freedom of expression on social and electronic media has nothing to do with violation of core democratic values.
After the government put a Pakistani journalist Cyril Almeida’s name on ECL for Dawn Leaks, the tradition of crushing freedom of expression is strengthening its roots. Ironically, the stable political governments are making circumstances for journalists worse than the dictatorships in the country.