The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), while expressing serious concerns on the announcement of media courts made by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, has rejected the proposal.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, CPNE President Arif Nizami and Secretary General Dr. Jabbar Khattak said the CPNE stands against any kind of discriminatory legislation and would oppose discriminatory media law at all forums.
The CPNE had already rejected the draft of the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority.
“Press Council of Pakistan, Pemra’s Commission of Complaints, Wage Board Implementation Tribunal and other laws and forums are very much there for the resolution of such conflicts and issues,” added the statement.
CPNE office-bearers said the formation of media courts is a discriminatory step and such a move will be considered an attack on media freedom and tantamount to increasing pressure on the media and journalists.
They observed that the government should extend its efforts for strengthening democratic culture, media freedom and right to expression through their acts instead of creating obstacles for the smooth functioning of the media.
They suggested the government take measures for the protection of media freedom, including fundamental rights as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.
“Pakistani media is already facing immense direct and indirect pressures these days and it is the duty of the government to take measures for easing the ongoing pressures whereas the affairs of media should be dealt with as per existing laws,” they added.