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Zardari believes in freedom; restriction on media relating to judiciary

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ISLAMABAD: Co-chairman Pakistan People’s Party Asif Ali Zardari has said that he believes in media freedom and denied any plans of crackdown on the media. In an exclusive interview with Private TV channel, the PPP leader said Monday that his party would back journalists in the contempt of court case against Geo News. He said he directed his lawyer Dr. Babar Awan to appear in the court on May 22 on behalf of the newsmen.

Asif Zardari also rebuffed that he requested Dubai government for shutdown of transmissions of Geo TV. He denied any role in PEMRA’s decision of not to issue licence to Geo English. He said it is the decision of PEMRA and the government has no plans of crackdown against the media. Zardari said he would remove all misunderstandings of media after coming back to home.

It is important to note that Supreme Court of Pakistan has withdrawn its order of restricting the print and electronic media from publishing or telecasting news items regarding judiciary without prior permission by the Court. However the apex ordered presenting all after Nov.3 records of TV channels and newspapers in the court. The court issued order during hearing of the suo motto case against Geo News here.

Justice Nawaz Abbasi on this occasion in his remarks said that the judiciary was being disgraced and the insults hurled at will. He said that under Article 19 of the constitution, media was not free to commit contempt. Justice Nawaz Abbasi said that action could be taken under the Article 204 of the constitution. Justice Nawaz Abbasi further enquiring said that who was paying the bills for advertisements relating to the judiciary.

Supreme Court also ordered presenting all after Nov.3 records of TV channels and newspapers in the court. Earlier, the court had prohibited telecast or publishing of program and promos relating to the judiciary. Geo News suo motto case was later adjourned until May 22.

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Rubab Saleemhttp://www.rubabsaleem.com
Rubab Saleem is Editor of Pakistan Times
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