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December 3, 2017

Journalists demand end to Pemra power to put channels off air


December 3, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The journalists’ community on Saturday demanded of the government to immediately repeal Section 5 of the Pemra Ordinance that was used to black out the entire electronic media on November 25, 2017 and to amend and remove all controversial clauses in the Pemra Act.
This demand was made during a resolution unanimously passed in the meeting of Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) that strongly condemned the 30-hour blackout of the electronic media by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) at the behest of the government.
The resolution also condemned the increasing religious intolerance that is prevailing in the country. It also expressed concern over the inaction of the government to protect the lives of the media persons in Balochistan and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). It also stressed the need to introduce a law to set up service structure for the electronic media to be passed by Parliament, which should be named Electronic Media Conditions of the Service Act on the pattern of Newspapers Employees (Condition of Service) Act.
Meanwhile, President of the National Press Club (NPC) Shakeel Anjum told the participants of the Media Fall Camp set up by the RIUJ that the journalists would never make any compromise on their demands and the government has to repeal the Section 5 of the Pemra Ordinance that is used to mute the voice of the media. "The closure of the news channels was absolutely a failure of the incumbent government that has been constantly taking measures to curb the freedom of expression in the country. We will not sit silent and put in our best efforts to ensure the media in the country work according to the freedom envisaged in the Constitution of Pakistan," he said.
Other speakers who also spoke on the occasion included RIUJ President Mubarak Zeb Khan, General Secretary Ali Raza Alvi and senior journalists Nasir Zaidi and Myra Imran. They termed the closure of the news channels by

the Pemra a direct attack on the freedom of press and vowed that they would launch a large scale protests if the government does not repeal the Section 5 of the Pemra Ordinance.

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