Media tribunals not yet finalised: Firdous

Published: September 22, 2019
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KARACHI: Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said the federal cabinet has not approved the ‘media tribunals’ nor has finalised any draft for the purpose.

“The federal government is not tabling any bill in the parliament regarding the establishment of media tribunals. The news circulating in the circles is not true,” she said, speaking to The Express Tribune.

She said a general debate took place in the federal cabinet about introducing reforms in media.

Earlier, it was being discussed that the government would introduce reforms in bodies related to media including the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and the Press Council of Pakistan.

Dr Firdous said all the stakeholders including the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE), the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) would be consulted before introducing reforms in the media.

“The government believes in the freedom of the press,” she added.

Dr Firdous noted that the legislation for Pemra took place in 2002 and now social media has come to the fore besides print and electronic media.  Reforms in media in accordance with the needs of modern time are necessary.

“The government wants to protect media workers and to solve their problems,” she said.

Commenting on Maulana Fazlur Rehman’s long march, the SAPM said the opposition should express solidarity with the Kashmiris at this crucial time rather than supporting the thieves and plunderers.

“This will be painful for Kashmiris. The opposition is not strong enough to launch a protest,” she said.

Dr Firdous said that the government would announce its strategy after Fazl shows his political cards. “The protest is not practical and is bound to fail,” she observed.

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