Rabbani terms Pemra directive against media freedom
ISLAMABAD: Former chairman of the Senate, Senator Mian Raza Rabbani on Wednesday vehemently opposed the directives of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), saying this was yet another relentless attack on the media freedom in Pakistan.
Rabbani, who joins many opposition leaders, besides some members of the Federal Cabinet, opposing the Pemra, banning TV channel anchorpersons from appearing in other TV shows, maintained that the authority had no jurisdiction in law to define the job description of those in the profession of journalism.
“The directive of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority issued on Sunday is yet another relentless attack on press freedom in the country. The authority has no jurisdiction in law to define the job description of those in the profession of journalism,” he contended.
The issuance of the directive, he pointed out, was yet another crude attempt and created an environment where the debate and dissent are being unlawfully suppressed. “This is a continuation of the arbitrary measures being taken to mute the media which include ordering channels to be taken off air, press conference muted or no air at all, interviews stopped,” he charged.
In continuation of its policy of gagging the media, he noted the government had floated the idea of special media tribunals. “The people of Pakistan will never allow the gagging of the media by the government in total violation of the fundamental rights given under Article 19 and 19A of the Constitution, 1973,” he emphasised.