ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) rejected a news item appearing in a section of press in which the authority was alleged of banning the broadcast of BBC news bulletins on private FM stations in Pakistan.
“PEMRA strongly denies the allegation as it has a firm belief in ‘Freedom of Speech and Expression,” said a press release issued on Thursday.
PEMRA Authority had allowed FM stations to broadcast BBC news bulletins, in May 2009, subject to the permission which is mandatory under law. According to the statement, all foreign broadcasting facilities have to obtain permission from the host country, which is in line with international broadcasting practices.
It also said that some stations failed to obtain permission and kept on flouting the law, and that action was taken against them as per rules and regulations. All FM radios which have obtained prior permission are allowed to broadcast BBC News Bulletin three Times a day.
PEMRA said there is no restriction on media in Pakistan and in pursuance with the policies of the present democratically elected government, electronic media in Pakistan enjoys full freedom in expressing its views on all political and social issues. The statement also said that ‘It may be noted that BBC News (TV) is available to people in Pakistan through Cable Networks without any hindrance. The impression, therefore, being created by some elements in the press regarding any restriction on media in the country is absolutely false, baseless and devoid of moral justification’