PTI opposes curbs on media
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s core committee here Thursday emphatically opposed curbs on the Press freedom and closure of any TV channel and also regretted the criticism against the top intelligence agency and the military, unleashed allegedly by Geo and Jang Group.
The forum felt the government had tacitly allowed the situation to fester by either deliberately or otherwise showing utter confusion with each minister speaking a different language and the prime minister keeping a strange silence.
“This ambiguous behaviour of the government raises serious questions not only about their intent but also their ability to govern. If the government had strengthened institutions and ensured their proper functioning, Pemra would have fulfilled its mandate,” the meeting said.
The forum met under PTI Chairman Imran Kihan and reviewed the developments on the national scene with main focus on the events unfolding in the wake of attack on senior journalist Hamid Mir.
The committee unequivocally condemned the targeted attack on Mir and felt that such attacks and threats to journalists were increasing with impunity as successive governments have failed to bring the culprits to book or even identify them in majority cases.
“While all state organs must be accountable and must work within the confines of the law and within democratic norms, it is unfortunate to see the targeting of the country’s premier intelligence agency and the military, and being subject to willful public accusations without any substantiation and proof,” it said.
Other senior journalists, the committee noted, had been targeted and innocent people lost their lives but their media houses had not indulged in a concerted campaign in which the military and intelligence agencies are vilified.
“Such behaviour only plays into the hands of our enemies at a time when we are confronting an acute security situation on our Western border and internally, and in which thousands of brave soldiers have laid down their lives in the service of the country,” the meeting said.
The committee said, “PTI salutes all journalists for their courage in the face of adverse working environment and for defending their rights. The media has gone through a brave struggle for its freedom and the core committee assures complete support in upholding the freedom and independence of the media. But the media must also now show it can use its freedom in a responsible and mature fashion”.
The committee reiterated that with freedom comes responsibility and the media has a duty to not only hold the government and state accountable, it must itself behave in a responsible manner and be accountable. It was also time, the committee resolved, that the government stood up to its responsibility of protecting journalists and ensuring result-oriented and timely investigations were undertaken and the target killers nabbed.