CJ expresses desire to make PEMRA an independent body

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Islamabad (Web Desk) : Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar remarked on Monday that the Supreme Court wants to end the government’s control over the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and observed that the institution should be an independent one.

Speaking while heading a three-member bench hearing the media commission case, the Chief Justice remarked regarding PEMRA’s independence, “There is no sword hanging over the government regarding this issue, but it should be done.”

As the hearing went under way, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Rana Waqar informed the court that the government has formed a seven-member committee which will include prominent journalists and the chairman of the Pakistan Broadcasters Association.

The committee will then form a three-member panel to select a person to head PEMRA.

The media commission case is based on petitions filed by senior journalists Hamid Mir and Absar Alam in 2013 regarding issues the media faces and the government’s use of ‘secret funds’ to influence media outlets.

Mr. Alam was later appointed as PEMRA chairman but was then removed last year on the orders of the Lahore High Court.

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