ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has rejected the proposal to set up a centralised regulatory authority for print, electronic and social media.
Speaking to journalists outside the accountability court, PML-N’s spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said the government of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), in an attempt to gag the media, had proposed the formation of a “Pakistan media regulatory authority” without even consulting the stakeholders and without debating the issue in parliament.
“The opposition rejects such an authority. We demand [from the government] to explain its objectives and designs. If this [authority] is aimed at censorship and silencing the media, we will raise our voice by all possible means,” she said.
The government recently said it planned to set up a new media controlling authority, to be known as Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority, by merging the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) and Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA).
The PML-N leader criticised Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry for what she termed irresponsible statements related to arrest of PML-N leaders.
Referring to a statement of the information minister in which he defended the transfer of Islamabad’s Inspector General of Police on verbal orders of the prime minister, she said civil servants worked for the country and did not deserve such remarks.
She said the PTI government was in the habit of gagging the media and treating bureaucrats like its servants.
“The information minister has already warned that defiance of the prime minister and ministers’ orders will not be tolerated and it may cost defiant bureaucrats their jobs,” Marriyum Aurangzeb pointed out.
Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2018