IFJ Urges Court to Defend BBC broadcasts in Pakistan

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) urges the Sindh High Court to reverse an order issued by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority (PEMRA) forbidding radio station Mast FM103 from broadcasting the BBC World Service’s Urdu-language programs.

According to news reports, PEMRA sent the station a letter on June 25 ordering it to stop the hourly broadcasts, despite giving them permission to air the programs in Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad and Multan days earlier.

IFJ Asia Pacific Director Jacqueline Park said she was disappointed at the lack of continuity in the Pakistan government’s approach to the media.

“Despite assurances only last month by the Pakistan government to reduce the power of media curbs imposed by PEMRA, it appears that this was a baseless guarantee,” Park said.

“Stopping the BBC programs going to air represents a gross violation of press freedom. Not only is PEMRA contravening the radio station’s agreement with the BBC, they are preventing the public from gaining access to a vital source of world news,” she said.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0919

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 114 countries