Civil society, journalists flay PEMRA for curbs on Geo


Civil society and media leaders on Friday condemned PEMRA for putting curbs on Geo TV.

At a meeting held at SAFMA Secretariat, HRCP Director IA Rehman said attacks on journalists and media houses and putting curbs on Geo TV was a stark reflection of authoritarian tendencies.

Journalist Hussain Naqi called for unity among the journalists for freedom of press and safety of journalists.

While opposing the suspension of Geo, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf lawmaker Shafqat Mehmood expressed his concerns about the way media has been flouting its freedom by running vicious campaigns against politicians.

Journalist Anjum Rasheed said that the media had never in history undermined its own freedom to settle business scores.

Educationist Abbas Rasheed emphasised the need to view press freedom and safety of journalists in the broader perspective of freedom of expression.

Columnist Kamran Shafi warned that attacks on press would lead to the attack on democracy.

South Asian Partnership Director Mohammad Tehsin proposed that all democratic forces must unite in defence of freedom of press and democratic values.

The News Editor Farah Zia said that the state institutions must follow law and justice rather than putting curbs on a media house.

SAFMA Secretary-General Imtiaz Alam said that they would not compromise on the freedom of expression.

“We demand more freedoms and will stand up against violation of fundamental human and civil rights, including a free media.”

Condemning the attacks on journalists and forcible shutdown of GEO TV, he said infighting of various media houses have undermined the very premise of press freedom.

The participants resolved to convene a national conference in defence of freedom of expression, tolerance, democratic values, observing due process of law, a responsible and free media and strengthening constitutional role of all state organs within their respective spheres.