Senate Committee takes notice of media ads during PML-N’s tenure

Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting has asked for details of ads run during PML-N’s tenure after PML-N Vice-President Maryam Nawaz’s audio scandal sparked controversy.

As per the audio, Maryam was instructing someone to stop giving advertisements to four TV channels.

The state minister said the Ministry of Information has started an inquiry after Maryam’s audio clip went viral. A report, containing details of ads till 2008, would be furnished before the committee on Wednesday, he said.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Faisal Javed, took notice of Maryam’s audio clip as Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib gave a briefing during the meeting.

Senator Javed said “some channels were receiving a majority of the ads, while others were getting a negligible amount”, as he lamented that media workers, due to non-payment of salaries, were forced to commit suicide.

Habib informed the participants of the meeting that the ministry’s constituted committee is probing in what capacity did Maryam issue the directives to stop media ads.

“We are also probing whether the directives to stop ads had impacted the independence of journalism,” the state minister said.

Earlier this week, Maryam while addressing a press conference had confirmed the authenticity of the viral audio clip. Replying to the question, the PML-N leader said that she will not deny that the voice is hers or say it has been “fabricated”.

“I was running the party’s media cell at that time and it is an old audio clip,” she stated.

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