Pakistan’s largest newspaper Dawn censors name of a Student Union on banners in NLE protest

LAHORE: In another censorship in Pakistani media, Dawn newspaper, ‘Pakistan’s only news outlet with editorial policy’, blurred the banners of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba students who joined flocks of medical students against the cancellation of the NLE exam in Pakistan.

Country’s oldest yet most prestigious newspaper, which cited that freedom of expression in the South Asian country has shrunk, censored the name of Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba – a student body of religious-cum-political party Jamaat-e-Islami.

On the Metro page on today’s edition [July 04, 2021], the newspaper shared a picture of King Edward Medical University students who can be seen protesting against the National Licensing Exam at the Nila Qumabad Chowk in the Punjab capital.

However, the student holding banner of ‘KEMU rejects NLE’ mentioned the name of the student body which Pakistan’s oldest newspaper blurred in the name of freedom of expression yet censoring the body which advocates for medical students in the protest.

In the age of information, that requires transparency and leveraging the rapid flow of information, Dawn appears to be swimming against the tide as it blurred the name of Jamiat – most likely as it stemmed from the conservative school of thought.

Soon after the censorship from the news outlet which claimed to be ‘the champion of freedom of expression’, many of the social media users along with students activists irked as they took to the micro-blogging site platform where they lambasted Dawn newspaper for censoring Jamiat.

A social media user who goes by the name of Maryam Khalid wrote ‘KEMU roaring on the roads. Eagles soaring in the skies. One of the best sights to witness: med colleges being led by KEMU and KEMU being led by Jamiat. (Dear Dawn! What is shining under the sun can’t be blurred. Jamiat can’t be erased.)’

Another user mocked country’s largest English newspaper saying Bus etna sa dil hey kia? The user also shared the original picture in the post.

Here are some reaction from the recent uproar:

It is worth noting that Islami Jamiat e Talaba is a student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan – a socially conservative party that was formed in 1941, even before the inception of Pakistan.

Junaid Bin Usman
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