ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan People’s Party Friday said instead of creating unified media regulatory body there was a need to implement the existing laws.

In a statement, Secretary General PPP Parliamentarians Farhatullah Babar said: “The move to lump together all media organisations whether print, broadcast, electronic and social media and merging all their regulatory bodies into one is thoughtless, impracticable, provocative and smacks of imposing new curbs on freedom of expression.”

He said ‘Google search' alone was not enough, as the information minister Fawad Chaudhry seems to have done, to make a “decision that required understanding of the complexity of issues in a unified media regulatory body in the country.”

Babar said instead of creating new regulatory bodies or making new legislation “we need to implement the existing laws and strengthen the existing media regulatory bodies by making them truly professional and independent of the executive.”

The PPP leader said hate speech “flourishes while media continues to be manipulated and pressured and forced to resort to self censorship. It is intriguing that the decision was announced almost on heels of a damning report by the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan on visible and invisible curbs on media.”

He added: “We need to examine the state of media today and remove hurdles in way of freedom of expression instead of creating new bodies to curb free expression.”

Babar said before subjecting all media organisations and bodies to a uniform regulatory law “we should bring all state institutions under a uniform accountability mechanism.”

It is a provocation, he said: “to frame a uniform regulatory mechanism for all types of media without recourse to the Parliament on the one hand and disallowing parliament from framing a uniform accountability law for all state institutions on the other.”

PPP WON’T CONTEST

BY-POLLS ON MARTYRED CANDIDATES SEATS

Pakistan People’s Party Friday announced it will not field candidates in bye-elections in the constituencies where candidates were martyred in the recent general elections.

Secretary General Pakistan People’s Party Syed Nayyar Hussain Bokhari said that on the instructions of party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the party has decided to provide opportunity in the bye-elections to those parties whose candidates were killed.

In a statement, he said the PPP had immense respects “for the martyrs because they sacrificed their lives for the cause of democracy. So the party has decided to pay tributes to martyrs and will not field its candidates in those constituencies.”