Home Latest News Pakistan’s Media Bodies Demand P.M. Khan Prove ‘Sell-Out’ Allegations

Pakistan’s Media Bodies Demand P.M. Khan Prove ‘Sell-Out’ Allegations

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File photo. Aamir Qureshi—AFP

In statement, Joint Action Committee warns it reserves right to approach judiciary for relief if premier cannot provide evidence of his claims

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Pakistan’s media bodies on Monday demanded Prime Minister Imran Khan prove allegations that “a lot” of the country’s media outlets are operating at the behest of the opposition or through foreign funding.

On Sunday, while addressing a public gathering in Malakand, Khan had alleged that a “lot of media houses work solely for money, and some even accept foreign funding.” Urging media outlets to adopt “ethical practices,” he had warned that the nation was “observing the media and it can see which media house is working in favor of Pakistan and which one is a sell-out.”

In its statement, the JAC—comprising the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), and Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND)—said the premier’s statement was akin to accusing the media of corruption. Urging the prime minister to avoid making such statements for “political point-scoring,” it warned that if Khan could not prove his allegations “within a reasonable time,” the JAC reserved the right to approach the judiciary for relief.

Noting that the prime minister had the “resources to Investigate and prove” his allegations, the JAC stressed that Khan should “understand that false and baseless statements about media houses will not serve any purpose.”

PFUJ demands apology

In a separate statement, the PFUJ demanded the prime minister apologize for “leveling allegations against media and journalists” about them being “funded” to campaign against the incumbent government.

PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar, Vice-President Lala Asad Pathan, and Secretary-General Nasir Zaidi expressed anger at the prime minister’s remarks, adding that it was “surprising that the head of the government, under whom all the agencies are working, instead ordering a probe is using a public forum for spreading unfounded allegations against media.”

Urging Khan to order a probe via the Federal Investigation Agency, or through a high-level judicial commission, it stressed that spreading “fake news” against media and journalists would not help him dent the pressure of the opposition’s no-confidence motion.

Noting that Pakistan could not afford such statements “at this juncture of history,” the PFUJ warned that such baseless remarks risked “further ruin[ing] the image of the country.”

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