Caretaker gov’t believes in media freedom: Ali Zafar

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ISLAMABAD, Jul 13 (APP):Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National Heritage and Law affairs Syed Ali Zafar Friday said the caretaker government fully believed in freedom of media and it had not issued any directions to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to blackout any political personality in the media. “The caretaker government is mandated to provide level playing field to all the political parties to ensure free, fair and transparent election,” the minster informed the Senate.
He said under the pemra ordinance, the Federal Government had no authority to intervene the affairs of PEMRA. “PEMRA is an autonomous institution and its chairman along with its members enjoy the authority, he added.
Ali Zafar said holding of general election was indeed the responsibility of caretaker government in free, fair and independent manner and it was also mandated by law to assist Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take all necessary steps to ensure free and fair elections. He said that the caretaker government had been criticized by the members of senate for last two days and were raising question on the transparency of upcoming election. “The caretaker government is seriously taking steps to fulfill its obligation of holding free and fair general election,” he added.
Sherry Rehman said it was essential and core part of ensuring free, fair, and transparent election to give level playing field to all the political parties contesting the general election but there were reports that media blackout is imposed on some personalities.
Syed Ali Zafar suggested to refer the matter of ensuring free and fair election to the standing committee where the ECP would response to all the queries of the members.