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Constitutions provide an expression of their country’s values and principles, along with freedoms enshrined to empower its citizens. Pakistan’s Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 serves as its guiding document that upholds these fundamental rights; specifically Article 19 which addresses free speech, expression and press rights subject to reasonable restrictions from law. We will explore Article 19 further herein this blog post as we identify its key features while exploring its profound importance in upholding democratic values while safeguarding national welfare and security.
Overview of Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 19 of Pakistan’s Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, expression, and press. This provision illustrates Pakistan’s commitment to upholding these liberties while accepting reasonable restrictions imposed by law.
Article 19 States
19. Freedom of speech, etc.
Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, and there shall be freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, 33[commission of] 33 or incitement to an offence.
Right to Freedom of Speech and Expression
Article 19 ensures every citizen their right to freedom of speech and expression, providing an outlet to freely express their ideas, thoughts, and opinions.
Freedom of the Press
This provision ensures press freedom by permitting media organizations to operate independently and unfettered. Such freedom is key to an informed and democratic society.
While these rights are guaranteed, Article 19 emphasizes that they are subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by law. These restrictions serve various interests, including the glory of Islam, the integrity, security, or defense of Pakistan, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality, and in relation to contempt of court, commission of, or incitement to an offense.
Key Points of Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Freedom of Speech and Expression: Article 19 guarantees every citizen the freedom to voice their ideas freely, empowering individuals to engage in open debate.
Freedom of Press: This provision supports press freedom, permitting media outlets to operate independently while still providing accurate and unbiased news to their audience.
Reasonable Restrictions: Article 19 recognizes the need for reasonable restrictions in the interests of various factors, such as national security, public order and decency as well as upholding Islam’s glory.
Crux of Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 19 is designed to empower citizens in exercising their right to free speech and expression while guaranteeing press freedom, while acknowledging reasonable restrictions necessary to preserve national integrity, security and wellbeing.
Conclusion: Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan
Article 19 of Pakistan’s 1973 Constitution serves as an anchor of democratic values and free expression, providing every citizen the right to freely voice their thoughts while also safeguarding press independence. This article highlights Pakistan’s commitment to upholding democratic principles and providing a forum for open discourse and impartial dissemination of information.
However, this resolution also recognizes the necessity of reasonable restrictions to protect national interests such as security, public order and preserving Islam’s glory. Article 19 remains an integral pillar in Pakistan’s journey towards development and progress, guaranteeing citizens can exercise their rights while upholding national security and well-being. It showcases Pakistan’s dedication to democratic principles such as free expression and responsible journalism within a framework designed to safeguard national interests.