Pak media authority clamps down on news channels, asks them to stop 'maligning' National Accountability Bureau

·2-min read
Representative Image
Representative Image

Islamabad [Pakistan], March 25 (ANI): In an apparent clampdown on the media, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Wednesday asked news channels to refrain from 'maligning' the anti-corruption body, National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

Pemra asked news and current affairs satellite channels to refrain from airing "unsubstantiated, judgemental and unipolar remarks" about NAB, "with an alleged intent to malign the state institution", without getting the bureau's point of view, reported Dawn.

According to Pemra, the airing of such content was in violation of the Pemra (Amendment) Act of 2007 and the Pemra Rules of 2009.

The law allows discussions about investigation and under-trial matters in such a manner as to provide information to the public and to avoid airing content, including commentary, opinion, and suggestions, about the potential fate of such cases which tend to prejudice the determination by a court or tribunal, the regulator said.

Pemra said in a statement on Wednesday that airing of such unsubstantiated and unipolar remarks was in "absolute disregard" of previous instructions, including those issued in compliance with orders of the Supreme Court, prohibiting discussion on sub judice matters.

The accountability watchdog, NAB, has been mired in controversy over charges of violation of human rights, character assassination and arresting people at the inquiry stage to weaken the opposition's anti-government movement.

The move to stop people from defaming NAB comes amidst Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Nawaz's appearance in the hearing of Chaudhry Sugar Mills case and purchase of land in Raiwind.

Maryam has been summoned by NAB on March 26 on the charges that she is obstructing the investigation by not appearing, and is using tactics to give the public the impression that state institutions are inactive.

The anti-corruption body maintained that after her release on bail, she has been attacking state institutions through media and social media, and has continuously made false accusations and is engaged in anti-state propaganda. (ANI)