In a first, ‘apolitical’ PTV takes on govt ministers


Viewers across Pakistan were pleasantly surprised to see state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) reporting controversial incidents involving government ministers without the traditional bias that has been associated with the organisation in the past.

PTV’s reporting of Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and his family’s usage of a government jet and an incident involving Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed and his protocol were aptly reported by PTV, garnering praise from citizens.

The Punjab CM had first used a plane with his family for a personal trip and then took an official helicopter to Mian Channu to condole the death of the father of his close friend.

According to the news broadcast on PTV on August 28, “The news of CM Buzdar’s hand in the Pakpattan DPO’s transfer had not calmed down when a new issue sprung up. He is now reportedly air-travelling on official helicopters and planes, sparking outrage on social media.”

Earlier on August 20, Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry had announced the government’s decision to make PTV and Radio Pakistan independent and apolitical organisations.

Fawad had underscored the need to transform traditional mechanism of disseminating information and news on the state-run TV channel and expressed his resolve to make the corporation independent and depoliticised similar to foreign media outlets.

On August 21, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government had lifted political censorship on both the PTV and Radio Pakistan, allowing them to broadcast opinions and news of all political parties without any discrimination.

Soon after Fawad Chaudhry had taken to Twitter, saying that further drastic changes will be visible in the Information Department in the coming three months.

Earlier, the state-run channel had long been known as a government ‘mouthpiece’.