No one can suppress press freedom: PEMRA chief

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KARACHI, Aug 1 (APP): Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory
Authority (PEMRA) Chairman Absar Alam on Monday said that no one would be allowed to suppress or obstruct freedom of the press and expression.

Addressing a press conference here, he said prompt action was taken by PEMRA on complaints received from the private television channels.

He was of the view that the country as well as the institutions make progress when the law was followed.

Absar Alam said PEMRA was endeavouring to ensure that all the television channels and cable operators abide by the code of conduct.

He said on Monday he visited the offices of television channels and cable operators in Karachi and listened to their problems.

He said the complaints of two TV channels in Karachi had been addressed. For the complaints pertaining to the Punjab, a meeting of the cable operators had been convened on Tuesday.

He said PEMRA had formed groups of all the categories. A news channel would have to function as a news channel not as an entertainment one, he added.

He said he was discharging his duties honestly and all the owners of private TV channels were equal to him.

The PEMRA chief said legislation was being undertaken to ensure payment of salaries to the staff by the private TV channels.

He said the channels, which had broadcast programmes against the armed forces and judiciary, were shut down, besides imposition of fine up to Rs one million.