ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) on Saturday launched a reporting and monitoring mechanism for election-related violence directed against media personnel and institutions.
The reporting mechanism will facilitate journalists and other media personnel to report violence directed against them during the July 25 general elections.
The monitoring system is being established to ensure that election-related attacks against media personnel and institutions do not go unnoticed as well as to monitor the response of state machinery to such attacks.
ECP asked to take notice of negative campaigns by political parties
Incidents of election violence will be reported to PPF by telephone, email and WhatsApp and also on the Twitter. The reports of each attack against media personnel and institutions will be brought to the notice of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), relevant federal, provincial and local authorities, including caretaker ministers, officials in interior and home departments, police department, district commissioners and others. Reports of violence will also be forwarded to media associations.
The PPF will follow up responses of media outlets to which the attacked journalists belonged, as well as with media associations and state authorities and will report on progress in bringing the perpetrators of violence to book.
Reports will also be forwarded to political parties which are responsible for implementing the ECP code of conduct for political parties, contesting candidates, election agents and polling agents.
According to information available on its website, the PPF is an independent media documentation and training centre. It was established in 1967 as a non-profit organisation and continued working until 1974, when it had to suspend operations due to the political environment then prevailing in the country. It was reactivated in 1992, and has since been involved in assisting the development of independent media in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the ECP has been asked to take notice of campaigns by the political parties in which they have been criticising each other.
Advocate Safeer Hussain Shah in an application has informed the commission that the campaign of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf on electronic and print media was against its code of conduct.
“It is feared that the other political parties will also run negative campaigns against each other which will put negative impact on the people. Some parties can even level allegation of blasphemy against each other if they would not be stopped by the ECP,” petition states. He has requested the ECP to direct newspapers and TV channels to follow the code of conduct.
Talking to Dawn, Mr Shah said that political parties should be bound to highlight their performance and inform voters about promises made in their manifestos. Criticising each other can be disasters, he added.
Published in Dawn, July 8th, 2018