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Not taken into confidence on formation of media tribunals, CPNE president

Not taken into confidence on formation of media tribunals, CPNE president
September 17, 2019
LAHORE (92 News) – Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) President Arif Nizami on Tuesday said that he was not taken into confidence on the formation of media tribunals. After announcement of formation of “Special Media Tribunals” by the federal government, the CPNE president said that the purpose of media tribunals is only harass and intimidate media. He also warned that it will be strongly resisted if the restrictions imposed on the media freedom. “We also consider that the media should not have complete freedom,” the CPNE president elaborated. Arif Nizam informed that the meeting of CPNE has been summoned on Thursday. Senior journalist Mazhar Abbas said that they have suggested federal government to improve the defamation laws. “The Law and Information Ministry seems to be involved in the matter. Efforts are being under way to create more pressure on the media,” the senior journalist maintained. Mazhar Abbas said that he had suggested formation of ‘Media Complainant Cell’ in 2008.
Federal cabinet announces establishment of Media Tribunals
on the other hand, the federal cabinet has announced to set up Special Media Tribunals to resolve issues relating to Media industry and stakeholders. This was stated in a media briefing by Special Assistant to PM on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan on Tuesday after the federal cabinet meeting. Firdous Ashiq Awan said the media tribunals will replace Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) Council of complaints to resolve issues pertaining to media and other stakeholders.
Tribunals would decide a matter within 90 days
The special assistant said the tribunals would decide a matter within 90 days. She said a bill in this regard will be tabled in the National Assembly. She also said that the higher judiciary will patronize these tribunals.
Pending cases with PEMRA to be referred to media tribunals
Firdous Ashiq said all the pending cases with PEMRA will be referred to media tribunals. She said Prime Minister Imran Khan and the government believe in facilitation and empowerment of media. She said establishment of media tribunals is an attempt to introduce best practices, norms and code of conduct of the democratic societies of the world.