ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has clarified its position regarding news item published in a section of the Press alleging that PEMRA backtracked from its earlier statement about foreign funding of a private TV channel.  It is clarified that PEMRA has never made any assertion about involvement of foreign funding in the private TV channel.

In a Press release issued by PEMRA on Tuesday, it stated that the written reply submitted by the PEMRA to the Media Commission can also substantiate that PEMRA has not made any statement about foreign funding in private TV channels.

It further said: “It is not even PEMRA mandate to investigate the source of funding of private electronic media. PEMRA, as a regulator, understands its responsibilities and limits. It is to put the record straight that PEMRA officials have never made such baseless assertions against any particular media group as reported in the Press with reference to Media Commission report. PEMRA strongly denies such allegations.”

It may be noted that senior journalist Hamid Mir while discussing the Media Commission report in his talk show dated July 22, 2013 has also reflected that “the present Chairman PEMRA does not own allegations of foreign funding to TV channels”.

The media concern that why PEMRA did not officially rebut this statement before?. It is clarified that though the matter had come to PEMRA’s knowledge two weeks ago but PEMRA’s legal counsel Zulfiqar Maluka had advised PEMRA not to clarify this matter in media being subjudice in the apex court.

Therefore, PEMRA in its written reply submitted before the Supreme Court dated July 29, 2013, has categorically denied this statement of Media Commission report.  Since, the matter has been widely highlighted in the media, it is now important to clarify that PEMRA does not own this kind of assertion and has never levelled such unverified allegations against any media group.