SAFMA and SAMC flay restrictions on media
LAHORE: The South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA) and South Asia Media Commission (SAMC) have called upon the authorities concerned and service providers not to block broadcast of any television network on any pretext in any part of the country, according to a joint statement released on Thursday.
Taking serious exception to the ban on the transmission of two private TV channels on cable and burning of newspapers in some parts of Pakistan, SAMC President Kumar Ketkar, SAMC Secretary General Najam Sethi, SAFMA President Reazuddin Ahmed and SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam called upon the elected government of Pakistan and the ruling Pakistan People’s Party to show utmost restraint and avoid taking any step that muzzles media freedom in any way. They expressed their fullest solidarity with the working journalists who have risen to the occasion to protest against curbs imposed on certain media outlets. Recalling the long arduous battles that the democratic forces, civil society and the working journalists have fought for decades against military and authoritarian rules and to get fundamental rights, freedom of speech and right to know, the two media rights bodies vowed to defend every inch of media freedom. They have, however, cautioned the media to strictly observe professional ethics and not to lose a sense of caution, objectivity, neutrality and etiquettes, which must remain the hallmark of the profession.
By indulging in a vicious campaign of vilification and defamation against the democratic institutions, certain elected leaders and the citizens, a section of media was not doing any service to the profession, nor democracy without which there could not be a free press, the statement said. They appealed to the PPP-led government to follow the democratic role model of late Benazir Bhutto and avoid earning a bad name by putting any restriction on any media group.
Source: Daily Times