PFUJ demands consultation on election code of conduct
ABBOTTABAD: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has demanded the formation
of a council of complaints, as per the Pemra Amendment Act, before implementing the media
code of conduct for the general elections.
The PFUJ has insisted that political parties, media stakeholders, and civil society should be
consulted on the code.
It also urged journalists and media houses to refrain from creating propaganda and confusion
about the conduct of general elections scheduled for Feb 8.
PFUJ President Afzal Butt, who chaired a meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) held
at Abbottabad Press Club, provided an initial response to the directives issued by Pemra for
television channels in preparation for the national elections.
The unanimously passed resolution said that the guidelines issued by Pemra refer to the
provisions of the Electronic Media Code of Conduct, 2015.
In the meeting, the PFUJ expressed concerns that journalists may face difficulties due to the
“misinterpretation and misuse” of the provisions in the code of conduct regarding allegations and
Pemra’s instructions oblige licensees to establish in-house monitoring for compliance with this
code of conduct and to inform Pemra about the formation of these monitoring entities, while on
the other hand, the Pemra Amendment Act has not been fully complied with.
The PFUJ resolution demanded the removal of “ambiguities” in various provisions of the code of
conduct to enable journalists to perform their professional duties without fear or apprehension.
During the FEC meeting, it was decided that constitutional experts would be consulted before
issuing a detailed response to the Pemra code of conduct.
It said that if any provision contradicts the constitution, it would be strongly opposed.