The office bearers of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) have unequivocally condemned Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s confessionary statement regarding the unfair distribution of advertisements to media houses and the banning of advertisements for certain media groups.
CPNE has demanded that the PML-N leadership should publicly apologise for its undemocratic and press-freedom repressing acts of the past.
They also demanded that the committee set up by the government should inform the nation, through a transparent investigation as to what other measures were taken by past regimes to suppress the media, influence editorial policy and “massacre” disliked media groups.
In a statement, the CPNE termed Maryam Nawaz's admission a charge sheet against the PML-N government, which is now seeking the cooperation of media and vying to become the flag bearers of press freedom and the independent media.
The statement expressed that similar to previous governments, the CPNE always spoke against the incumbent government's anti-press freedom measures and called for a transparent, acceptable and equitable mechanism to make the distribution of advertisements fair.
The CPNE demanded that the inquiry committee set up by Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry should not only conduct an impartial investigation into the distribution of advertisements and rewarding of favoured groups during the PPP and PML-N regimes but also inform masses about the advertising policy of the last three years so that the report of the committee could be accepted by the people and journalistic circles.
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