Chairman Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has said that freedoms of press in Pakistan have been chained by PTI regime through threats, intimidation, and pressure tactics, calling for lifting the declared and undeclared curbs imposed on the media. In his message on World Press Freedom Day being observed on Monday, the PPP Chairman said that the Imran Khan-led PTI regime has gagged the media to hide its illegitimacy, incompetency and sheer failures in every sector. Several independent journalists and anchorpersons have been forcibly taken off TV screens by, leading them to take to social media to express their independent analysis and opinions, he added. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari pointed out that PPP has been at the forefront of championing press freedom in Pakistan and former Prime Minister Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto had abolished the draconian press laws imposed by Zia’s dictatorial regime. He said that the suppression of free media in Pakistan is a great disservice to the nation and will only serve to add fuel to flames of the legitimate anger and frustration of the people. Freedom of the press, he added, was a pivotal part of a vibrant society and democracy, giving voice to the people to be heard. Therefore, all censorship, including the imposed self-censorship through latent threats should be undone and the media should be allowed to play its role as an independent watchdog, he demanded. The PPP Chairman expressed concern that during the PTI regime, Pakistan had dropped to 145 out of 180 countries in the Press Freedom Index, an annual ranking of countries published by Reporters Without Borders (RWB), an international non-governmental organization dedicated to safeguarding the right to freedom of information.