July 25, 2019
KARACHI — Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has rejected the ill-conceived idea of media courts, proposed by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Media and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan.
Afzal Butt President and Ayub Jan Sarhandi Secretary-General of PFUJ in a joint statement condemned the idea and termed it as another arm-twisting of media and journalists, who are already under heavy censorship, financial crunch and victim of retrenchments.
PFUJ criticized the government for coming up with ideas like the media courts and Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority.
The union pointed out there already exist PEMRA and its Council of Complaints, Wage Board Implementation Tribunal, Press Council of Pakistan, and other laws and forums which can be made more effective and independent, for the resolution of conflicts and issues confronted by media, workers, and journalists.
The union leaders said the present government is engaged in media gagging, unannounced censorships, press advice and ban of government advertisements and other such tactics, which reminds one of the days of dictatorial regimes and martial laws in the country.
They urged the government to speed up its efforts for strengthening democratic culture, media freedom and right to expression guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan, instead of creating obstacles in the smooth functioning of the media and journalist community.
PFUJ called for urgent withdrawal of ill-conceived ideas like media courts and Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority. It said that these ideas were mere delaying tactics for resolving issues, the journalist community faces.
Photo courtesy: Samaa TV
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