Islamabad [Pakistan], September 11 (ANI): A group of media bodies in Pakistan has termed the proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) "unconstitutional" and promised to continue their protest against the Imran Khan government's move to establish the media authority.
The decision was taken during a meeting of the joint action committee held on Friday, The News International reported. The media organisations reiterated their stance of rejecting the PMDA and termed it a move to "muzzle the freedom of press and expression by imposing state control" to regulate all media platforms.
Representatives of media organisations that participated in the meeting include Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), and the Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND).
Experts suggest that Pakistan's freedom of the press is under threat as the Imran Khan-led country's government is poised to place more curbs by implementing the so-called new law Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA).
They say that Pakistan continues to suppress free speech in digital spaces, stopping its citizens from participating in the working of the state by depriving them of a resourceful channel for vocalizing their concerns.
Writer Mehmil Khalid cites an assessment report 'Pakistan Freedom of Expression Report 2020' by Media Matters for Democracy (MMfD) to say that the country performed poorly in all the indicators that determine free speech and that the COVID-19 pandemic further exacerbated the digital censorship in Pakistan.
Pakistan scored 30 points out of 100 on the assessment report index, which analysts say proves the fact that the government has placed curbs on free speech and disallowed people to talk especially about the pandemic and the related information. (ANI)