All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) on Wednesday said that it strongly rejects Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information establishment of 'media courts' proposal.

Hameed Haroon President and Sarmad Ali Secretary General of All Pakistan Newspapers Society in a joint statement have strongly criticised the proposal of Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan to establish media courts in Pakistan.

They stated that the media is already braving strong pressures in the form of press advices and measures of intimidation from ruling quarters which tantamount to undeclared censorship.

The proposed media courts would be an added and institutionalised lever for arm-twisting of media and reflects the mindset of present power centre that intends to curb voices of dissent by all means.

The APNS office-bearers argued that in the presence of dispute and complaints resolution forum like Press Council of Pakistan and Pemra there was no justification to form special courts for media.

They urged upon the Federal Government to withdraw the proposal of media courts forthwith if it does not intend to strangulate the media in the country. The APNS reiterates its resolve to protect freedoms of press and expression in the country and continue to perform the role of watchdog of the rights of people of Pakistan.