PEMRA Ordinance implemented in NWFP -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PEMRA Ordinance implemented in NWFP

PESHAWAR: NWFP Governor Ali Muhammad Jan Orakzai has promulgated the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002 (Ord No XIII of 2002) in the NWFP on Saturday.

The official statement issued here stated, “NWFP Governor Ali Muhammad Jan Orakzai, with the approval of the president, has directed that the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002 (Ord.No.XIII of 2002) as in force in the NWFP immediately before the issuance of this notification, shall apply to the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) of the NWFP with immediate effect.”

The extension of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002, to PATA will be a challenge for Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat Mohammadi (TNSM) acting Ameer and cleric Maulana Fazlullah, for running an illegal FM radio station in Swat.

The Muttahida Majlis e Amal (MMA)-led NWFP government on May 22, 2007 had signed a peace deal with the TNSM, under which the government agreed to let the cleric continue his broadcast, while Maulana Fazlullah agreed to support the polio vaccination campaign and education for girls, as well as government efforts to maintain law and order in the district. Fazlullah also agreed to close down all training facilities for militants and manufacturing units of weapons, as well as to support the district administration in any operation against antisocial elements. For closure of his illegal FM radio station, the peace deal between the TNSM and the MMA government would become at risk.

According to the FATA Lawyers Forum, FATA Grand Alliance President and Convenor Abdul Karim Meshud said the government should extend the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Ordinance, 2002, in FATA with immediate effect as in Khyber Agency, over a hundred people have been killed so far due to the controversial speeches of two clerical organisations, Lashkar-e-Islami and Insarul Islam, over their illegal FM radio stations. In addition to these problems, there are dozens of illegal FM radio stations installed by clerics at their madrassahs through which they spread their own agendas through these illegal radio stations.

On March 1, 2002 the government promulgated the much-anticipated Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Ordinance 2002, to regulate and develop broadcast media in the country. However, by the end of April 2002, the authority had not issued any licenses to establish private TV channels and was busy formulating its own rules and regulations.

So far only three Pakistani private channels broadcast their programmes in Pakistan from abroad. PEMRA aims at improving the standards of information, education and entertainment as well as expanding the choice available to people in a variety of programmes.

“Whereas it is convenient to provide the development of broadcast media in order to enlarge the choice available to the people of Pakistan in the media for news, current affairs, religion, art, culture, science, technology, economic development, social concerns, music, sports and drama,” the ordinance says.
Source: Daily Times
Date:9/16/2007