PEMRA Soon To Be Abolished By The Government
PEMRA Soon To Be Abolished By The Government: The government has decided to abolish the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority and establish a new institution to look after media affairs, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said on Thursday.
The information ministry has prepared a draft and it has been sent to all the stakeholders for their recommendations, Radio Pakistan reported. The government will regulate all the mediums of media, and no one will be able to defame anyone, the information minister told members of a Senate Standing Committee.
Senator Faisal Javed, the chairperson of the standing committee, said that the government will not allow anyone to silence the media. Media is always free in a democratic set-up, he added.
Information secretary told the committee that in future television ads approved by the information ministry will not be aired. A committee headed by the information minister has been constituted for the scrutiny of content of advertisements.
Information Secretary Shafqat Jaleel said that advertisements will be aired on TV after the ministry’s approval. “Information ministry has formed a monitoring committee for the content of advertisements. This committee will check and approve the advertisement content before it is aired. “I came in the committee for the first time but won’t come now.”
The three-member committee will be headed by the information minister.
During the meeting Senator Usman Kakar said those who made an advertisement purportedly humiliating the Pakhtuns should be identified and punished. However, he walked out after alleging that the committee did not take any action on his complaint. ”
In response, Senator Faisal Javed said the information ministry is investigating the matter and will submit a report soon. “Defamatory advertisements are being aired against the prime minister. The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned advertisements mocking the PM,” he added. “Fake news was aired against interior minister Shehryar Khan and no action was taken against it.”
Senator Anwarul Haq Kakar on the occasion questioned if PEMRA can shut down a channel for 10 minutes over this act. To which, Chairman PEMRA said they are not authorised to shut down a channel but can impose Rs1 million fine.
“We knows that PEMRA’s hands are tied due to no law in this regard,” added Senator Rehman Malik. “We condemn airing of Imran Khan’s parody and Asif Zardari’s character assassination. We want anchors on TV channels, not judges. There should be legislation for those who insult politicians.”
Barrister Saif suggested that whoever doesn’t comply with rules, should be questioned by the standing committee.
Before the meeting concluded, Information Minister Chaudhry said no one will be able to defame anyone according to the new law.
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