Pakistani journalist Asma Shirazi's comments concerning Prime Minister Imran Khan and the state of the country's economy in an article for BBC Urdu has drawn severe criticism from several Pakistani ministers.
However, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) warned of "serious consequences" against the use of "intimidating" language against the journalist, Dawn reported.
Shirazi had reportedly criticized the Imran Khan government without naming it or any individuals including Imran Khan's wife.
According to Dawn, special assistant to Imran Khan on political communication, Shahbaz Gill hit out at Shirazi for her criticism of the government's economic policies during his press conference on Thursday.
Gill alleged that the journalist had put allegations on the first lady and said that there are ethical limits on criticism.
"If you dislike the prime minister's family, you can hold a grudge against them, but there are ethical limits," Dawn quoted Gill as saying.
Gill said that the news should not be made out of assumptions and should report news based on proof, the report said.
He accused the journalist of having "good ties" with Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) vice president Maryam Nawaz and alleged that Shirazi spoke to her regularly, reported Dawn.
He also lashed out at the journalists who extended support to Shirazi on Twitter.
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) based in Belgium has slammed the statements made by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari over the matter.
IFJ sought an apology from the minister for "harassing" and "targeting" a journalist for doing her job, Dawn reported.
Pakistani Minister for Ports and Shipping Ali Haider Zaidi took to Twitter and attacked the journalist saying that she has crossed the line.
Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar tweeted and suggested that she joins PML-N.
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists issued a statement and lashed out at Gill saying that he was supposed to improve relations between the government and the media, however, his statements are a reflection of his mental capacity, reported Dawn. (ANI)