PBA, APNS, CPNE, hawkers union slam action against Geo
KARACHI: The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), the All Pakistan Newspapers Association (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) and Pakistan Hawkers Union strongly condemned attempts to browbeat the media by acts of forcing cable operators to block TV channels and regretted such conduct against the media during the tenure of a democratic government, says a press release.
The PBA flayed such acts and viewed them as an attack on the freedom of expression and reiterated its resolve that the broadcasters would continue to perform their professional duties to defend the people’s ‘right to know’ and upheld their freedom of expression as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.
The PBA deplored the acts of threatening certain cable operators and forcing them not to telecast its member broadcasters, GEO News and other channels and felt that such incidents would weaken democracy and strengthen dictatorial trends in the country.
The PBA reiterated that all the political parties should respect democratic values and norms as democratic institutions could only be strengthened in the country in an environment of freedom, respect and tolerance.
Meanwhile, the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) and the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) strongly condemned the government action against the media particularly the Jang Group, describing it as hooliganism on state-level.
The joint meeting of APNS and CPNE unanimously passed a condemnation resolution against the government action of placing curbs on the media.
The meeting held under the chairmanship of Convener Mehtab Khan of APNS was attended by M M Gormani (Nawai Waqt), Ghulam Akbar (Al-Akhbar), Tahir Owais (Dawn Group), Amjad Ali (Jang Group), Shahida Latif, Rukhsana Saulat and Tikka Khan, the general secretary of Pakistan Akhbar Faroosh Union, who was specially invited to the session.
Expressing deep concern, the participants of the meeting said that newspapers and televisions channels were being banned using state machinery during the democratic government. For the first time in the country’s history, the newspaper distributors and sellers are being given life threats, restricting them to their houses to stop the sale of Jang and The News.
They termed the government action of putting curbs on media anti-democratic and against the fundamental right of freedom of press. Paying rich tribute to Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, the meeting said that she always talked about freedom of press. However, they said that the PPP-led government was not following her principles today.
The meeting decided to raise the issue of government action against media at national as well as international level. The meeting said that the newspaper industry was being weakened. The participants of meeting also expressed their concern over the loss of lives caused by flash floods in the country and offered Fateha for the departed souls.
Source: The News