PEMRA to finalize rules for licenses -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PEMRA to finalize rules for licenses

ISLAMABAD- Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) will meet here April 18 to approve rules for issuing licenses for private radio and TV channels in the country.

Comprising mainly media experts drawn from the four provinces and private sector, PEMRA has already started functioning after a first formal meeting under its chairman Mian Muhammad Javed.

The independent body will get down to the business of dealing with the applications after the finalization of rules at next week’s meeting.

The establishment of PEMRA has been termed as a major step Vis a Vis long desired continuity of freedom of expression and laying firm foundations of a genuine democracy in the country.

“This is a welcome step, we have to compete with the world with our voice and private channels will invigorate the voice of the nation,” says Aslam Azhar, former managing director of Pakistan Television.

The media expert said private channels would bolster freedom of expression, as people will have the opportunity to express their views.

“That will be definitely helpful’ in promoting freedom of expression but while day today decisions of the government should be subject to critical analyses, there should be no compromise on national interests,” he underlines.

Azhar also draws a line between national service role of PTV and the interests of the private channels.

“The private sector is not primarily interested in serving public interests, it serves its own commercial interests, so it is PTV that will continue to serve public interests.”

An Ordinance was promulgated last month allowing private channels at international, national, provincial and down to the district levels.

The decision to free electronic media has been taken in line with President Pervez Musharraf’s seven point agenda which called for transparency, freedom of expression and for the first time recognised people’s right to airwaves of the country.
Source: The Nation
Date:4/12/2002