London [UK], July 11 : An activist, advocating free speech at the Global Conference for Media Freedom here on Thursday, lashed out at Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi claiming that the Government of Pakistan had shut down his Twitter handle.
Amid a much-heated debate over free speech, the activist said that he had a fair knowledge regarding what happens to people who practice free speech in Pakistan. "But who are you to censor me on social media?" the activist questioned Qureshi.
In his reply, Qureshi said, "First of all you want your sentiments to be respected. Just look at the tone and tanner you talked to him. Is that the right way to talk to. You definitely have the right to question."
"But why did you censor me?" the activist inquired.
"I didn't!" Qureshi exclaimed shockingly.
"Shame on you..." the activist said.
"How am I responsible for that?" the foreign minister intrigued.
"The Govt of Pakistan did it," the activist replied.
"This shows your double standards," Qureshi said while refuting the activist's allegations.
The first Global Media Freedom Conference, which is hosted by the UK and Canada, took place between July 10 and July 11 in London. The event was co-hosted by Chrystia Freeland, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and UK Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt.
"It is part of an international campaign to shine a global spotlight on media freedom and increase the cost to those that are attempting to restrict it," a statement said.
The conference focused around four themes, including protection and prosecution, national frameworks and legislation, building trust in media and countering disinformation, and media sustainability.
Global leaders, representatives from the media industry, journalists, civil society and academia gathered to attend interactive panel discussions.
The first day focused on defining the challenges, while the second on framing solutions. Commonwealth Foreign Ministers also met to discuss media freedom.