Media got maximum freedom since 2002, says Nisar -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Media got maximum freedom since 2002, says Nisar

HYDERABAD: Caretaker Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Nisar A. Memon said Saturday that media got maximum freedom since 2002 due to the positive steps being taken by President Pervez Musharraf in this direction.

Talking to media persons at the local circuit house he said five years ago there was only PTV channel but due to the media friendly policies around48 licenses of new channels had been issued while transmission of 32 foreign channels had been allowed in the country.

He advised the private channels to abide by the rules and regulations of PEMRA Ordinance. The Minister said that at present around 106 FM stations were functioning in private sector while the government was not running any newspaper.

Senator Nisar A. Memon said that he visited Hyderabad to perform inaugural ceremony of APP Sindhi News Service.

He said the government was forced to take strict action on November 3 in view of the extraordinary situation in the country. Some news channels were closed for not following PEMRA rules but later they were resorted after getting necessary assurance to abide by the concerned laws.

The Minister said that black press laws of the Ayub Era were removed and new laws were enacted after taking newspapers’ owners, editors and journalists’ organizations into confidence.

Freedom of Expression and Press Council laws were also made, he added. He regretted that Press Council Law was not implemented yet, as APNS, CPN and PFU have not provided the names of their members.

He appealed the journalists’ organizations to provide names of their members so as to implement the law in its letter and spirit.

The Minister said that clear instructions were issued to PTV, PBC and APP to ensure equal coverage to all parties without any discrimination.

He called upon the private channels and newspapers to give coverage to all the parties on equal basis for creating conducive atmosphere for the upcoming elections.

Responding a question, the minister said that no decision has so fare been made to construct Kalabag Dam.

Answering another query he made it clear that transmission could be suspended if any channel was found violating PEMRA laws.

He termed the recent foreign visit of President Pervez Musharraf successful. The Minister said the assassination of Benazir Bhutto was a national tragedy and recalled that President Pervez Musharraf had announced three days of mourning over a big loss for the country.

While rejecting reports that cases on large scale over violence had been registered against in Sindh, he asked journalists to provide him a list if any of them had it so that he could discuss it with the Sindh government.

Replying to a question about retired generals’ recent statement, he said that if they wanted to enter politics they should form a party, as there was no restriction on forming political parties in Pakistan.
Source: Daily Times
Date:2/3/2008