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July 26, 2019

PFUJ rejects proposal of media courts

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July 26, 2019

KARACHI: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has strongly rejected the ill-conceived idea of media courts, proposed by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Media and Broadcasting Ms Firdous Ashiq Awan.

Afzal Butt President and Ayub Jan Sarhandi Secretary General of the PFUJ, in a joint statement, condemned the idea and termed it as another meathead of arm twisting of media and journalists, who are already under heavy censorship, financial crunch and victim of retrenchments in the name of so called financial burden on rich owners.

The PFUJ criticised the government for brining ideas like media courts and Media Regulatory Authority, in presence of Pemra and its Commission 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 such conflicts and issues confronted by Media, media workers and journalists for the last one year. Present government, from the day one, is engaged in media gagging, Unannounced censorships, press advice and ban of government advertisement and other such tactics, which reminds 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 for smooth functioning of the media and journalist community.

The PFUJ called for an urgent withdrawal of ill-conceived ideas like media courts and Media Regulatory Authority and demanded as these ideas seem to be delaying tactics for the resolution of issues confronted by journalist community,

instead of speeding up process of resolution of compounding issues and release of pending funds to media houses, and ensuring media freedom and freedom of speech.

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