Expressing concern: PBA renews opposition to proposed Pemra resolution
Says the authority is trying to restrict media freedom.
The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) has renewed its objections to the proposed Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority resolution.
According to a PBA press release issued on Thursday, the initial objections to the draft Pemra (Content) Resolutions 2012 were sent on May 25.
PBA expressed concern regarding certain provisions which are perceived as trying to curb media independence in the country.
“Pemra is once again trying to restrict the freedom of the media,” the release stated. It added that these provisions provided Pemra “unbridled powers to act arbitrarily.”
“Most of the clauses in the provisions limit media freedom, while some severely restrict the freedom of expression guaranteed by the Constitution. PBA contends these provisions are illegal and void.”
PBA further maintained that definitions to the terms mentioned in the resolution were vague and “likely to be the basis of contention and controversy in the future.” The release added that Pemra had been advised to provide more concrete definitions for these terms.
The PBA release also pointed out that certain provisions in the resolution were subject to pending court litigation and as such, were sub-judice matters. The association asked Pemra to refrain from making resolutions till the proceedings concluded. Regarding advertisements, PBA suggested Pemra forward issues to the television commercial (TVC) preview and monitoring committee which consists members from both bodies.
Commenting on the code of conduct for electronic media proposed in the resolution, PBA said it had forwarded a self-regulated code of conduct to Pemra and the government which both had failed to implement.