PM directs Pemra to act against derogatory speeches: Pervaiz
KARACHI: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid Saturday said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has directed the Information Ministry to ask Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to take action against airing of derogatory speeches.
Talking to the newsmen on his arrival at Karachi International Airport, he urged the media houses to block transmission of derogatory remarks against the national security institutions and the judiciary.
The Constitution guarantees freedom of expression. However, it should be within parameters defined by the book, he said. “We all must abide by the restrictions about expression as embodied in the Constitution,” he asserted while talking to media on his arrival at Karachi International Airport.
He said the Constitution was supreme and every citizen would have to uphold its supremacy. He reminded the electronic media about the code of conduct devised by Pemra and the one formed by the media representatives themselves. He said that the government of Pakistan acted according to the Constitution and expected the same from others too.
Pervaiz Rashid said that the person making insulting remarks about Pakistan’s security institutions was facing two cases of murder and money laundering in London. He regretted that in London Altaf Hussain was very much law abiding and fully cooperated with London police and even did not hesitate to visit police station to explain his position in money laundering case. “Altaf Hussain has shown full respect to the law in London. We expect the same attitude from him towards Pakistani law,” he remarked.
He said it was the responsibility of the government to guard the dignity of these institutions and the national interests in general.
On the directives of the government, The Pemra has issued show cause notices to certain TV channels for their violation of the code of conduct by airing even inflammatory and insulting sentences by Chief of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Altaf Hussain during his telephonic address.
To a query, whether the government would initiate legal action against Altaf Hussain under Article 6 of the Constitution, the information minister said that it was a legal issue that would be looked into by the experts. However, he continued, the law will take its course. “It is not fair that a common man is punished for any violation of traffic rules and the influential one goes untouched for ridiculing the institutions and abrogating the Constitution,” he said adding that we have started ending this culture.
Online adds: In a statement issued on Saturday, Pervaiz Rashid said that no one would be allowed to compromise on national security. He said the transparent process under the Pemra and law would be taken to its logical end.
Meanwhile, Pervaiz Rashid has said that Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) are playing a pivotal role in eradication of organised crimes in Karachi and turning it again into a city of lights. In a statement, he commended efforts of the security agencies in counter-terrorism.
The minister said the LEAs are taking indiscriminate action against criminals without any political consideration.
He said all the democratic forces, civil society, and the media support LEAs in their bid to root out crimes from the society. The minister said unjustified criticism on LEAs is condemnable.
Pervaiz Rashid said that it was the prerogative of the independent judiciary to take action against criminals.