=> ISLAMABAD, Jan 10: The Pakistan Federal Union of J
ISLAMABAD, Jan 10: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) on Thursday called for the suspension of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) until the redress of media organisations’ complaints against it.
A PFUJ press release said there were fears that the Pemra officials would try to influence television channels into toeing the official line during the elections. “The Union has been receiving complaints from channels about such pressures.”
The Pemra had “misused its authority” against TV channels and FM radios from time to time, with its officials “acting like policemen” rather then officials of a regulatory authority, the statement said.
”Let the Pemra issue come up in the Senate and be referred back to the committee, which in the past had ignored PFUJ reservations about it,” the PFUJ said.
The PFUJ also rejected the government’s statement issued in response to a report of the Paris-based media watchdog, Reporters Without Borders, questioning claims about press freedom in Pakistan.
”The Pemra Ordinance, including the post-Nov 3 amendment, is the root cause of the action against private TV channels and should be suspended till the issue is resolved with the media bodies,” the PFUJ said.
The journalist body called for reconstituting Pemra to include representatives of the media, civil society and lawyers.
The statement expressed concern over threats given to Rohi, a Seraiki-language TV channel.
The PFUJ condemned a recent incident in which several guards of former premier Nawaz Sharif had allegedly misbehaved with employees of Business Plus, a television channel.