Pakistan planning to set up courts to address issues of media industry; says official

ISLAMABAD:Pakistan is planning to set up media courts in the country to promptly address the issues of the media industry, a senior official said on Wednesday.

Firdous Ashiq Awan, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister Imran Khan for Information and Broadcasting, said she met the representatives of Pakistan Broadcaster Association (PBA and has discussed the issue.

“I have discussed the idea of media court with the representatives of PBA,” she said briefing the reporters after the meeting. PBA is a representative body of electronic media.

Elaborating on the plan, Awan said the court would hear cases and complaints of the media industry against the government and the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra and vice versa.

She said that the government was working on a policy to resolve the problems faced by media owners and media workers.

“We have handed over the draft document of the policy to the PBA for vetting,” she said. Awan said the new policy will recommend laws to regulate social media in the country.

Pakistan’s media is currently under stress due to interference by Pemra. There are allegations that unseen censorship is strangulating free press in Pakistan.

However, Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to the US rejected the impression that media was under pressure in his nation by saying that the idea of media censorship in Pakistan was a “joke”.