The National Assembly’s sub-committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage urged Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to ensure compliance of its code of conduct for television channels. The meeting was chaired by committee convener Pakistan Peopl’e Party MNA Imran Zafar Leghari at PEMRA headquarters on Wednesday. The meeting looked into the administrative, financial and legal affairs of PEMRA. The committee made recommendations to ensure effective implementation of Supreme Court’s decision on code of conduct for electronic media. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz MNA Talal Chaudhry assured the committee’s support to the PEMRA for implementation of the code. The committee decided to summon television owners to the committee meeting to seek explanation for the statements issued in support of martial law by an anchor.
Some anchors are misusing the freedom enjoyed by the media, Chaudhry added. Talal renewed commitment of his party and the government to support freedom of expression in the country. “There will be no constraints on freedom of expression except reasonable restrictions given in the law,” he said. He added that they supported journalists on issue of salaries owed by BOL channel. PEMRA Chairman Absar Alam said the Parliament and court can take notice of anti-state statements made on televisions. He said there is a difference of opinion on the code of conduct between PEMRA and Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA). At one stage, PBA said that it would self-regulate but after few months they refused to do it, he added. When PEMRA started regulating the television channels, they went to courts and took stay orders, he said. Alam said media achieved its freedom by rendering sacrifices and now some anchors are making fun of it and are pursuing an agenda.