Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi says the PML (N) Government has lived up to its commitment not to interfere in freedom of expression or working of media. 

He was speaking as chief guest at the awards distribution ceremony of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) in Islamabad on Wednesday.

The Prime Minister said PML (N) made a firm pledge not to resort to coercion or pressure tactics against media and it pursued the policy religiously during the last five years. He said in the past IB secret funds billions of rupees were spent annually but the present government has not spent even a rupee from the secret fund for any purpose.

Prime Minister Abbasi said criticism apart; it is also responsibility of media to project achievements of the Government and measures aimed at welfare of the masses. He said such policies and steps should also get projection through positive and objective news reports besides advertisements.

The Prime Minister said Pakistan is perhaps the only country of the world where Ministers work in the day and defend their actions during talk shows in the evening.

The Prime Minister said censorship has become useless in the age of social media and other sources of dissemination of information but there is definitely need for self-regulation by media.          

He desired formation of a Committee to analyze media related issues and come out with recommendations for reforms in media.       

The Prime Minister said free and fair media is as important as free and fair elections.      

He said the Government is leaving Pakistan in much better condition in every respect as compared to what it inherited in 2013.

He said despite constitutional and other challenges and hurdles, the journey of progress continued.         

The Prime Minister referred to completion of Lowari tunnel by the present government at a cost of 28 billion despite the fact that the project was initiated by late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto forty years ago.