SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir National Conference president, Dr Farooq Abdullah on Monday said that freedom of the human mind is acknowledged in the right to free speech and free press.

“A free press is pivotal for any working democracy as it keeps the citizenry informed and imposes accountability. The National Conference in its Naya Kashmir manifesto had underscored the importance of having a free and vibrant press to keep those running the state of affairs under check and common citizenry informed about their rights,” NC spokesman quoted Dr Abdullah saying on the eve of International Press Freedom Day. “No society can think of harvesting the fruits of democracy without securing its press fraternity all the required freedom and dignity. However, it is imperative for the press fraternity to uphold the dignity associated with the profession at any cost. The struggle by embattled journalists and the press fraternity of Kashmir to fight for the rights of the people is commendable. I take this opportunity to salute the valour of our journalistic community, who notwithstanding curbs and persecution has been rendering their duties with dedication. I take this opportunity to pay my tributes to all those journalists who lost their lives in the line of duty.”

Meanwhile, the party’s Chief Spokesperson Tanvir Sadiq also underscored the need of having a free and vibrant press in Jammu and Kashmir. He said the government was duty-bound to create an enabling environment for the press fraternity in Kashmir so that they can air the public issues in a free and fair manner.

State Spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar asked the J&K government to reconsider its decision on incarcerated journalists who are behind bars. “On this Eid, as a humanitarian, I request the J&K government to release incarcerated journalists including Asif Sultan, Fahad Shah, Sajad Gul.”


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