No intention to curb media: Pakistani minister
Islamabad, Feb 28 (IANS) The Pakistani government does not intend to impose curbs on the media, Information and Broadcasting Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan assured after the media did not take kindly to plans for checks on it ahead of a general election.
Awan Monday said that the government believed in freedom of expression and did not intend to impose curbs on media.
Speaking at Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) headquarters here, she said: "The PPP (Pakistan Peoples Party) led-government believes in the freedom of expression and media and wants to strengthen and empower it. It has no intention to curb media freedom."
"Our ideology does not support any restriction on freedom of expression as we have sacrificed for it," Associated Press of Pakistan quoted her as saying.
Pakistani media was up in arms over the proposed move, with a Pakistani daily describing it as "alarming news".
An editorial in the News International Sunday cited reports as saying that the government has plans to impose tough curbs on the media ahead of general elections.
"This of course would be a replication of the measures taken by General Pervez Musharraf in his final days - in blatant violation of the constitution. The purpose obviously is to prevent material which can discredit the government from making it to the people," it said.