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Pakistan

Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb announces to disband PMDA

  • No other regulatory authority is needed in presence of PEMRA, she says
Published April 19, 2022
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Newly-appointed Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb on Tuesday announced that the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) was being disbanded, saying that any law which undermines the people's constitutional right to freedom of expression will not be accepted.

"PMDA stands disbanded in whatever shape or form it was working in," she said while addressing a press conference in Islamabad shortly after taking oath as the information minister.

Pakistan Media Development Authority: PML-N decides to form joint opposition committee

"The attempt to bring a black law [in the form of the PMDA] to restrict the voice of the already under-pressure media ... I announce today that the PMDA in whatever shape or form it was working in till now is being disbanded."

At the start of her presser, she expressed sympathy for journalists whose programmes were taken off air under the previous government.

"If freedom of expression remains in the society, it not only makes the society evolve but, in my opinion, and in my party's opinion, it further strengthens the government's performance and actions."

The minister said that a committee will be formed soon to discuss the media's problems in Pakistan.

"A consultative solution would be found that will be acceptable to all stakeholders," she said.

She said that in the presence of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), no other regulatory authority was needed.

Govt bringing PMDA to deal with issue of fake news: Fawad

"No regulatory authority will be established other than Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority," he said.

The outgoing government of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had decided to introduce the PMDA to deal with the issues of fake news.

The previous government had said that the new authority would help digital media define the landscape of Pakistan in the future.

On the other hand, opposition parties and several media organizations had criticised the government’s proposal for establishing the new media body.

They criticised the law and described the move as a step towards imposing state control over all segments of media through the creation of a single over-centralized body.

They had said the PMDA appeared to be aimed at subjugating freedom of expression and of the press.

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