Some wield guns, and others carry religious books in their heads and together they deny to the journalists and human rights defenders the space for the internationally recognized and constitutionally guaranteed right of freedom of expression,” remarked Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPPP) Secretary General, Farhatullah Babar, on Thursday.He was speaking at a discussion, titled, “Freedom of Expression and Safety of Journalists” held by the National Commission on Human Rights (NCHR). Babar believed that the while the Constitution guaranteed freedom of expression through Article 19, it was “subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law” in certain areas like “national security and relations with foreign countries.”However, the former senator maintained, no legislation had yet been made to define the parameters of these “‘reasonable restrictions,” due to which an arbitrary and ridiculous definition of “national security” held sway. This was used to deny masses the right to their freedom of expression. He quoted the arrest of a journalist in Balochistan by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on a complaint registered by the Frontier Corps (FC). Babar said that the journalist was taken into custody on the basis of alleged “controversial and demoralising statements” on his Facebook. The complaint was said to have claimed he had “created havoc in the society” jeopardising “the lives of officers of the agencies;” quoting an unnamed source.The secretary-general added that similarly, investigations were ordered against some journalists for posting pictures of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, during the visit of Saudi Crown Prince, Muhammad Bin Salman, to Pakistan. Pak should publish reports on violence against journalists: PPPP sec-generalPPPP leader relayed that another journalist, Shahzeb Jillani, was detained and charged with the alleged undermining of national security over his reservations on the recipient of a national award.The ever-broadening parameters of “national security” had become an elephant in the room, Babar asserted while calling for appropriate legislation to clearly demarcate these domains. Recalling Pakistan’s commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as its national agenda, the ex-senator noted that it was mandatory to publish yearly reports on cases of murders, abductions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention and torture inflicted on journalists and human rights activists.He also called to devise a mechanism for preparing such annual reports. The seminar was attended by representatives from NCHR; ministries of Human Rights, Interior, Law & Justice; Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA); Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA); National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA); FIA and Pakistan Bar Council.