1. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority chairman claims employees under threat, seeks government help

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority chairman claims employees under threat, seeks government help

Pakistan's electronic media watchdog's chief claimed today that he and his staff were being threatened by unidentified people for taking action against different media outlets.

By: | Islamabad | Published: May 9, 2017 2:26 AM
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Chairman Absar Alam said it was getting difficult to operate freely. (Representative Image: Reuters)

Pakistan’s electronic media watchdog’s chief claimed today that he and his staff were being threatened by unidentified people for taking action against different media outlets. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Chairman Absar Alam, at a press conference, said that he and his staff were being harassed.

Alam asked the prime minister, the chief justice and the army chief to take action against the elements involved in making threatening calls to him and his staff. He also played a recording of the threatening calls he has been getting.

“I have a family; Pemra employees have a family. While I can tolerate personal attacks, I cannot permit threats directed towards my institution or its workforce,” he said.

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Alam said it was getting difficult to operate freely.

He said he felt pressure from both the right and left wing politicians while taking action on issues of hate speech and vulgarity.

Alam also asserted that the judiciary was creating hurdles for his department with almost every order issued by his office being challenged and stayed.

He said that 333 out of 337 orders and notices were stayed by different courts and appealed to the Chief Justice, Saqib Nisar.

However, despite the pressures, he ruled out his stepping down.

“I will not resign. I will struggle until our concerns are addressed,” he said.

PEMRA under Alam has taken action against several anchors and programmes for violating the watchdog’s rules.

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