Government buying anchorpersons for pre-poll rigging -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Government buying anchorpersons for pre-poll rigging

By: Muhammad Anis

ISLAMABAD: Opposition Leader in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Tuesday said President Asif Ali Zardari is using billions of rupees from the national exchequer for distribution among his favourite television channels and to buy leading anchorpersons of independent channels before the next general elections.

Chaudhry Nisar said the government has already started channelising the money and has set a target of Rs8 billion for distribution among the favourite channels and trying to lure leading anchorpersons of independent channels to switch over to pro-government channels on more lucrative salaries.

“Asif Zardari so far has channelised Rs4 billion and plans to spend another Rs4 billion in this connection,” he said, while talking to media persons at the Punjab House.

He pointed out that the news channels, which are pro-government, are getting more share from advertisement campaign than channels of high rating.

Chaudhry Nisar quoting some examples said anchorpersons of independent television channels, who were getting Rs1 million in independent channel, have joined pro-government channel for Rs3 million.

“The leading anchorpersons are being forced to switch over to pro-government channels on the condition that they will not criticise Asif Zardari,” he alleged.

The opposition leader said there are also reports that the government is doling out money to activate two unknown channels which are pro-Zardari.

He said it is the right time for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take notice of the pre-poll rigging. “The PML-N is also considering to move the Election Commission on this matter,” he said. He said he knew there are also some leading anchorpersons who have rejected government offer to switch over to other channels.

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