The army is a part of the government and it fully supports the policies of Prime Minister Imran Khan, Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry told DW Friday.
“The military is the part of government and the policies of the government have the full support of the army,” Chaudhry, the minister of science and technology in PM Khan’s cabinet, said while speaking on DW’s show Conflict Zone. “So the Pakistani prime minister calls the shots and the Pakistani army supports it.”
The minister appreciated his government’s handling of the coronavirus and said PM Khan has opposed sweeping lockdowns since day one and only partial and “very well-managed” lockdowns were imposed in the country.
The virus has so far claimed 12,837 lives in Pakistan and the total number of confirmed cases has crossed 500,000.
Journalists in Pakistan have been complaining of increasing censorship in the country since PM Khan’s government came to power in July 2018. Hundreds of journalists have lost their jobs due to the financial crisis in the industry. Many say they were sacked by their organisations for critical reporting of the government and the country’s powerful establishment.
Chaudhry said, however, the media in Pakistan enjoys the freedom and is very powerful.
“I believe media is probably one of the most free media that the world can imagine we have in Pakistan,” said the minister. He added many people believe that there should be “strong defamation laws” to counter defamatory and malicious campaigns.