CPNE condemns blocking of TV channels -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

CPNE condemns blocking of TV channels

KARACHI (May 08 2007): The Sindh Committee of the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) presided over by Convenor Qazi Asad Abid declared in a very strongly worded resolution that CPNE members condemn in the strongest terms the illegal and uncalled for action in the different cities of Sindh whereby transmissions of Private Sector TV channels in the afternoon of May 5, were interrupted and blacked-out.

The meeting heard from CPNE Secretary General Wamiq A. Zuberi the details regarding the black-out of private TV channels through cable operators in several cities of Sindh including Karachi, and the various explanations given by Pemra, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and other spokesman to the effect that they had not carried out this interruption. However, the fact remains that the normal coverage by these private TV channels of events having a direct hearing on the nation, were interrupted and blacked-out purposely.

Strongly condemning this action the meeting called for the award of the most exemplary punishment to the elements found guilty of this illegal and uncalled for deplorable interference, amounting to the most unprecedented attack on freedom of the media, specially the electronic media.

The meeting declared that the CPNE members will resist all attempts to undermine press freedom and obstruct the print and electronic media in the exercise of its freedom and also discretion in news coverage. The meeting called for unity among all the bodies of the Print and Electronic Media for a united stand against such blatant crude attempts to put the clock back in respect of freedom of the media, print and electronic, and the public’s right to know.

It declared that in the year 2007 the strong-arm methods of 1986 and 1990 would prove totally counterproductive. The meeting also recommended the formulation of a Code of Ethics on press coverage to be adhered to by all political panics and elements in the country and warned everyone against pressurising the media in this age.

The meeting declared that the Government at the Federal and Provincial level is also responsible for ensuring that the media, both print and electronic, is facilitated in its objective news coverage and not subjected to threats and pressures. The meeting declared that other actions to register CPNE members protest against this crude attempt to suppress the media would also be considered. The meeting also recommended formation of a Joint Action Committee of the print and electronic media, which could attend to all matters of an urgent nature involving the exercise of press freedom by individual members of the media, print and electronic in news coverage and the selection of such news coverage, wherein no outside interference shall be tolerated.

Those who took part in the meeting and took part in the discussion included Qazi Asad Abid (Convenor) Daily Ibrat, Dr Jabbar Khattak (Sr Vice President) Daily Awami Awaz, Javed Meher Shamsi, (Vice President Sindh) Daily Kaleem, Wamiq Zuberi (Secretary General) Daily Business Recorder, Mushtaq Ahmed Qureshi (Finance Secretary) Monthly Naye Uffaq, Anwer Farooqi (Daily Aghaz), Najmuddin Shaikh (Daily Deyanat), Aamir Mehmood (Monthly Kiran Digest), Inqillab Matri (Daily Millat), Naseer Hashmi (Daily Ummat), Ashraf Qureshi (Daily Hurmat), Mahmood-ul-Aziz (UPP), Ghulam Nabi Chandio (Daily Pak), Saeed Khawar (Daily Nawa-e-Waqt), Tahir Najmi (Daily Express), Mukhtar Aqil (Daily Jurrat), Abdul Khaliq (Online), Owais Aslam Ali (PPI), Muzaffar Ejaz (Sada), Usman Arab Satti, Waqar Yousuf Azeemi and Ms Zahida Abbasi (Daily Sach).
Source: Business Recorder
Date:5/8/2007