Criminalizing the criticism ridiculous: Fawad

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ISLAMABAD: Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry on Thursday said it was an “absolutely ridiculous idea” to criminalise criticism, a day after a National Assembly panel approved a bill that proposes a two-year prison sentence and a hefty fine for those who intentionally ridicule the armed forces.

Though Chaudhry did not directly reference the bill in his tweet, his remarks came in reaction to a tweet by senior journalist Mazhar Abbas who, while apparently commenting on the bill passed by the NA committee, wrote that citizens were free to criticise the parliament, politicians and media but the “rest is national interest”.

“Absolutely ridiculous idea to criminalise criticism; respect is earned, cannot be imposed on people,” Chaudhry wrote.

He said he strongly felt that instead of introducing new laws to quell criticism, the laws dealing with contempt of court “should be repealed”.