ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) has condemned a series of actions taken by the government aimed at “controlling editorial content, freedom of speech and depriving the citizens of Pakistan of their right to know”.

In a statement, the PBA cited several actions taken by the government against some media organisations leading to exerting financial pressures and creating hindrances in the way of execution of their professional duties. The representative body of the electronic media said the steps taken by the government included advertising ban, issuing series of show-cause notices through the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to numerous TV channels.

The other actions taken by the government includes imposing illegitimate claims amounting to billions of rupees on the channels under the illegal pretext of Gross Annual Revenue (GAR) dues.

“The government has banned the official spokespersons to appear at certain channels,” the PBA pointed out, adding that the steps were aimed at controlling editorial content, freedom of speech and depriving the citizens of Pakistan of their right to know.

While condemning the actions by the government, the association vowed to fight all such moves against freedom of speech as well as against the citizen’s right to freedom of information.

Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2022

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