Monday, October 28, 2019
ISLAMABAD: Senior leaders of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf on Monday came out in defence of the media, slamming Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority on a new order that had banned TV anchors from appearing on talk shows hosted by other anchors.
PTI stalwart Asad Umer, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari and Federal Minister for Science & Technology Fawad Chauhdry on Monday expressed their dismay over Pemra's decision and urged the media watchdog to do a better job.
Umar sarcastically tweeted: “Amazing decision by pemra to stop anchors to go on any other talk show and express their opinion!”
The former finance minister added that Pemra should be doing a better job and asked it to take action against fake news rather than suppress individual’s rights to express their opinion.
Human rights minister Shireen Mazari also weighed in on the order.
“Who is an "expert"? An interesting tho unintended debate has been generated - so purely at an academic non-political level: Do I need a degree in politics to be an expert on politics? I have no degree in "human rights" so should I go on TV to discuss "human rights" issues?” tweeted Mazari.
Agreeing with the human rights minister, Fawad Chaudhry termed the Pemra order illogical, unnecessary and uncalled for.
Pemra on Sunday, through a notification, banned regular TV talk show anchors from appearing in other talk shows.
The authority also warned those indulging in “inappropriate and biased analyses and negative propaganda” of action.
According to a Pemra’s announcement, under its regulations, anchors are liable to host the show impartially and objectively without giving verdict on any issue.
Under the new directives, TV anchors who host regular shows cannot participate as an expert or commentator in any other talk show.
The owners of channels have been directed not to allow anyone from using their platforms to spread disinformation, speculative ideas and sub judice information to misguide the masses.
The announcement said participants and guests of talk shows should be picked with extreme care.
"Only those guests should be invited who bear good reputation, wide experience and can give comments without any bias and have good command and knowledge on the subject of the programme," Pemra said.