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April 29, 2021

AEMEND objects to new restrictions on TV channels

 
April 29, 2021

KARACHI: The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND) has strongly objected to the recent restrictions on television channels in the name of ‘advice’ to report on proceedings of the federal cabinet through sources, says a press release.

AEMEND is of the firm view that if there is news concerning the proceedings and decisions of the federal cabinet, and official circles decline to say anything on the record, it is the responsibility of the media to report matters of public interest.

In addition, at times senior government officials themselves provide information on cabinet proceedings while requesting anonymity, it said.

AEMEND further said that the federal government has the right to contradict or clarify any news. The PEMRA’s (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) notice is tantamount to gagging the media simply for attempting to do its job and keep the public informed, the press release added. AEMEND President Azhar Abbas said that rather than acting as an independent regulator, PEMRA is becoming a tool to impose censorship. “This and more such advice and actions to curb media freedom is making PEMRA more controversial,” Abbas said.

AEMEND Secretary General Ammad Yousuf said that media freedom is enshrined in the Constitution and any attempt to restrict it will be resisted at every level by the media.

“The government and Ministry of Information should take note of PEMRA’s attempt to impose censorship,” Yousuf said. Terming the advice unacceptable, AEMEND asked all journalist unions and media organisations to jointly take a stand against this calculated move to push censorship and undermine constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the media.