NA body for end to ads on channels showing Indian culture
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting underlined on Thursday the need for taking solid steps to improve role of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to effectively regulate media outlets for achieving national development.
The committee was chaired by Belum Hasnain. Its members especially Bushra Rehman was of the view that the government should take concrete measures to prevent local channels from airing contents of Indian culture especially in advertisements.
She said such cultural values promoted obscenity and had negative pact on local culture and younger generation.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira said it was a difficult task to define the word ‘obscenity’ and efforts were under way to define it, but so far no final and consensus definition had been found to go ahead within its parameters.
He added these advertisements were having foreign contents were mostly belonged to multi-national companies, thus one had to confront numerous issues before taking any decision to this effect.However, he said, the government was adopting ‘push and support’ approach to work on this front and inculcate sense of self analyses among these channels.
He was of the view that some media channels criticized the government in an unethical way, but the government did not want to target any channel and faced criticism with patience as, he added, their role was to be regulated, gradually.
The committee also pointed out issues with regard to protection to journalists, who some time had to work in fragile situation, it added.The information minister said he had taken the issue with all journalists’ bodies, but he added subject of protection or security was of a broad nature.
Thus, he added, these bodies so far did not give in writing about the modalities or any framework that could ensure full protection or security to journalists.He also said it was responsibility of the government to provide jobs, adding this would strengthen the organization, but, he added, performance should not be affected. He said in Pakistan there was a small media industry and any organization like APP, he added, could not become self-reliant economically with subscription fee alone.
The minister hoped the Digital Service News Gathering service would give boost to APP’s performance to play more effective role in national development.Managing Director Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), Khalid Sarwar, briefed members of the Committee about the future plans of development of APP particularly in the environment of developed media technology and mass communication.
Managing Director Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) Murtaza Sulangi said efforts were in progress in collaboration with the National Heritage to build a building to house Museum in Karachi.
He suggested that the facility was needed to be built at a secure place where people could visit it without any fear.He also appealed donors agencies to contribute funds for establishing the historic building.The meeting was also attended by officials of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Pemra, PBC and APP besides other relevant departments and ministries.