PBA ‘outrightly’ rejects media courts proposal

Islamabad: The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) has outrightly rejected the Government suggestion of establishing Media Courts, stated in a statement issued on Friday.

According to the statement, PBA asked the Government to reveal the real purpose of the proposed media courts. An incomplete document was shared with PBA a day earlier which gave no real details, purpose, need or intent for establishing these courts. It seems to be another effort to control media and restrict freedom of expression.

The statement further added that coming from a Government which had made pre-election promises to uphold the independence of media and encourage freedom of expression and is now already struggling to justify media curbs, it is shocking.

The statement further asked the government to immediately abandon the ill-conceived and ill-advised proposal. There already exist laws, courts and regulatory authorities in the country to deal with media-related issues. As such there existed no justification for these media courts.”

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan told reporters after meeting office-bearers of PBA in Karachi on Wednesday that the government planned to set up media courts to ensure prompt justice to workers and resolve issues related to the industry.

Firdous Ashiq Awan had said that the proposed courts would hear only media-related complaints and grievances and help provide justice to the aggrieved within the shortest possible time.

The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) also came out with statements opposing the proposal and strongly rejected it.

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