Pakistan to establish special media tribunals

Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan

Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan

By Nasir Aijaz
AsiaN Correspondent

Islamabad: The federal government has decided to establish special media tribunals to settle cases of media organizations, workers, owners, and citizens.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan sharing the decisions of the federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday told a press conference that the government would get a law passed from the parliament in this regard.

After the establishment of the tribunals, she said, all media-related cases would be transferred to them, which would be bound to decide on the matter within 90 days of receiving complaints.

The decision to the effect had been taken as part of media rules and regulations the government intended to introduce in Pakistan like the best practices being followed in other democratic countries, she added.

Setting up the tribunals would make the media more responsible, she added.

She said that, at present, media organizations, owners, workers, and the civil society moved their media-related complaints to the judiciary.

The decision would help establish truth and supremacy of law, besides encouraging the process of self-accountability in the media.

She said the tribunals would hear specific media complaints and any organization or person having any complaint against the media could approach them.

Dr. Firdous said the cabinet expressed its concern over the fact that some elements by taking advantage of freedom of expression were levelling baseless allegations against personal lives of government personalities, including the prime minister and federal ministers.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, she said, was of the opinion that positive criticism was vital for the development of a society and better governance, but some elements were using freedom of expression for personal objectives.

The prime minister remarked that some elements were intentionally spreading baseless rumours to fulfill their nefarious designs and a section of media was being used as a tool, she added.

The tribunals would be free from government control or influence as government functionaries would also be accountable to them.

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