ISLAMABAD: Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National Heritage and Law affairs Ali Zafar on Friday said the caretaker government fully believes in freedom of media and it had not issued any directions to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to blackout any political personality in the media.
“The caretaker government is mandated to provide level playing field to all the political parties to ensure free, fair and transparent election,” the minister informed the Senate.
He said that under the PEMRA Ordinance, the federal government has no authority to intervene in the affairs of PEMRA. “PEMRA is an autonomous institution and its chairman along with its members enjoy the authority,” he added.
Ali Zafar said holding of the general election is indeed the responsibility of caretaker government in free, fair and independent manner and it was also mandated by law to assist Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to take all necessary steps to ensure free and fair elections.
He said that the caretaker government had been criticised by the members of Senate for last two days and were raising the question on the transparency of upcoming election. However, he clarified, “The caretaker government is seriously taking steps to fulfil its obligation of holding free and fair general election.”
Sherry Rehman had said it is essential and core part of ensuring free, fair, and transparent election to give level playing field to all the political parties contesting the general election but there are reports that media blackout is imposed on some personalities.
Ali Zafar suggested referring the matter of ensuring free and fair election to the standing committee where the ECP would respond to all the queries of the members.