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Media JAC takes exception to PM’s statement

By Our Correspondent
March 22, 2022
Media JAC takes exception to PM’s statement

KARACHI/ ISLAMABAD: Media Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Monday took a serious note of the false allegations levelled by Prime Minister Imran Khan against media in his public address on Sunday.

In a statement, the JAC said that Imran Khan alleged that media houses had been bought by political parties and some were also being funded from foreign sources. “In effect, this amounts to accusing the media of corruption,” the JAC said.

The statement said JAC challenged the prime minister to prove these scandalous allegations. “Being in the government he has the resources to investigate and prove it,” the statement said.

The Joint Action Committee asked the prime minister to understand that false and baseless statements about media houses would not serve any purpose. “Media and journalists are performing their professional responsibilities guaranteed by the constitution,” it said.

The JAC requested Imran Khan not to make such statements for political points-scoring.

The joint statement further stated if proofs were not provided for these allegations within a reasonable time, JAC reserved its right to approach the judiciary for relief against these scandalous, false and defamatory allegations.

The JAC comprises All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND).

Meanwhile, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) demanded apology from Prime Minister Imran Khan for leveling allegations against media and journalist community in public meeting in Malakand on Sunday where he alleged that media houses were receiving funds for campaign against PTI government.

In a joint statement, PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi while showing astonishment and anger at prime minister’s baseless allegations and that too in public meeting said, “It is surprising that the head of the government under whom all the agencies are working, instead ordering probe, is using public forum for spreading unfounded allegations against media”.

They urged the prime minister to order enquiry through Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) or through high level judicial commission, instead of spreading fake news just for electioneering or defusing pressure of no-trust motion filed by opposition against him.

“Fabricated, concocted and baseless allegations against media and journalists will not help the prime minister holding top slot and responsible position which requires dissemination of utmost credible information and reasonable and responsible behavior,” they reminded.

They said that it was crucial time for the country’s respect and credibility among comity of the nations and such a behaviour would further ruin “image of the country “and they could not afford it at this juncture of the history.

The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), meanwhile, also took strong exception to PM Imran Khan’s statement against media in his address to Dargai rally.

In a statement, the CPNE President Kazim Khan said that Prime Minister Imran Khan would be well aware of punishment for levelling allegations in State of Madina. He said that the PM’s level of falsehood was beyond imagination.

He asked the PM if an application might not be lodged under PECA Ordinance against him. He said that the government should apologise for levelling fabricated allegations against media. He said that no one made a wrong use of freedom of expression more than the prime minister. He said that CPNE would approach court for insulting media.

The CPNE president called upon the PM to name those media houses which were getting funds from the country or abroad. He said not names but proofs against such media organisations should be given otherwise PM should apologise.

He said that the CPNE would contest the fabricated allegations levelled against media at all forums.

CPNE head called upon the judiciary to review its order declaring Imran Khan ‘Sadiq’ and ‘Ameen’.