ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIUJ) have strongly condemned the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) move to take all the news Channels off air in a bid to preempt escalation of protests in the Country.
“This is a draconian order and very much the violation of Article 19 A of the Constitution,” the Secretary General of the PFUJ Ayub Jan Sarhandi said.
The PFUJ secretary general said that the decision was not only unconstitutional but it would also cause much chaos all over the Country as the general public would be extremely exposed to the rumours and fake news through social media and other communication tool.
Ayub Jan Sarhandi said that remain updated with what was going on around them is the basic Constitutional as well as human right of each and every citizen of Pakistan.
The PFUJ demanded the government of immediately withdraw the ban on television channels in the best public interest.
Separately, the RIUJ also expressed alarm over the federal government’s move to invoked Section 5 of the PEMRA Act, directing the media regulatory authority to take all News Channels off the air with immediate effect.
In a statement, the RIUJ President Mubarak Zeb Khan and the General Secretary Raza Alvi said that Union condemns the government action of completely blacking out news channels across the country.
They said that the RIUJ is aware of the developing situation and advises the government to avoid using such extreme measures to suspend news operations. RIUJ also urges the electronic media to abide by the code of conduct, which prohibits the live coverage of ongoing security operations.
The RIUJ president and secretary general said that the Union appeals to the federal government to ensure that freedom of the press, and the freedom of speech are fundamental rights ensured under the Constitution of Pakistan.
Earlier in the day, the PEMRA stopped TV Channels for live coverage of Faizabad operation, and cautioned that in case of any kind of violation, observed/ reported, strict action under the relevant provisions of the PEMRA laws shall be initiated.
The PEMRA also requested media house to ensure safety and security of their field staff.