Ministry rejects CPJ report on alleged media curbs
ISLAMABAD (February 04 2008): A spokesman of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has rejected the CPJ report on alleged media restrictions in Pakistan and reiterated that the government strongly believes in complete freedom of expression.
“Pakistani media enjoys freedom and there are no restrictions or hindrances at all in the way of media for truthful and objective reporting in the country,” the spokesman said.
Commenting on the report yet to be released but some excerpts of which have been published in a section of press on Sunday (February 3), he said it appears that the CPJ suffers from complete lack of understanding and comprehension on media affairs and seems to have been influenced by continuous propaganda against Pakistan.
“It is unfortunate that President Pervez Musharraf has been accused by CPJ of viewing free media as a threat to his rule,” he said and pointed out that it was the President’s initiative in 2002 to open up the electronic media in the private sector.
He said subsequently cross media facility was allowed that has been the envy of many democratic countries in the world.
Even a casual reader of the Pakistani newspapers and viewer of TV talk shows would not believe the CPJ contention about the alleged hindrances to objective and truthful reporting in Pakistan, he said. Regarding the code of conduct signed by the owners of private television channels, he said the management of the TV channels have signed it of their own free volition within the parameters of the terms and conditions of the license.
“There is no ban on live reporting of events by the private television channels, however, to preclude use of abusive and derogatory language, Pemra has advised the cable operators to install the universally applied mechanism to facilitate live telecast of important events,” he said.
The spokesman reiterated that the government would continue to uphold and further strengthen freedom of the media and encourage self-regulation to introduce the element of responsibility that goes with such freedom.
Source: Business Recorder