PPP leader slams PTV for refusing commercial time
ISLAMABAD- The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) said Pakistan Television had refused it commercial time to air a party message containing images of the late prime minister, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.
The PPP request had been turned down by the Pakistan Television (PTV) censor board with a comment that “persons convicted by courts cannot be projected on PTV,” the party’s acting secretary-general, Raza Rabbani, told a press conference.
“I condemn these words,” he said, contending that the conviction of Benazir Bhutto had been procured by the regime for non-appearance before the courts.
The conviction was not on substantive charge or on morale turpitude, Mr Rabbani said and called upon the PTV censor board to improve its knowledge of law.
The PPP leader alleged that the country’s biggest loan defaulters, Chaudhry Shujjat Hussain and Chaudhry Pervez Illahi, were projected out of proportion on PTV daily. He asked if it was a “duality of policy or law”.
The state-owned electronic media, he added, was also carrying out a systematic propaganda campaign against the PPP.
He pointed out that PTV on Aug 11 had telecast an interview of Maj-Gen Rashid Qureshi, who had not only criticized the PPP leadership but had also used very indecent and objectionable language.
The PPP leader quoted a study, conducted by Liberal Forum, saying that the study showed that the PPP was getting negative coverage by the electronic media.
He said his party, despite being the only party which had fielded over 240 candidates for the National Assembly seats, was being given negligible coverage as compared to the Pakistan Muslim League (QA) and the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal. The findings of the report had fully exposed bias of PTV and the government, he added.
Mr Rabbani blasted the military regime for carrying out what he called pre-poll rigging on a massive scale, and characterized the pre-poll rigging into three categories; administrative, legislative and political.
He pointed out that the regime had brought a fresh reference against PPP Secretary-General Jehangir Badar, who, he said, was contesting election for NA-119 from the prison.