PFUJ-D slams ECP for placing curbs on media

President of the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists-Dastoor (PFUJ-D), Muhammad Nawaz Raza and Secretary General Sohail Afzal Khan slamming the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP)’s decision to restrict movement of journalists and prohibiting cell phones, have said that such acts will further demean the election process which has already faced with controversies.
In his statement after the ECP’s decisions, both Raza and Khan have urged upon the election body to immediately review its decision and allow free media access, which is mandatory for holding free and fair election.
The Election Commission of Pakistan on Thursday refused to issue passes to all journalists who are being assigned by media houses to cover elections. The election body insisted that passes will be issued to specific number of journalists and that too will be subjected to limited access to the polling stations.
The ECP also decided to disallow mobile cameras inside the polling station despite the fact that channels and newspapers have equipped their reporters with modern mobile cameras for smart and effective coverage of the election. According to election commission no media will be allowed to enter the polling station after the counting starts.
“Together these highly objectionable steps indicate that the election commission is not interested in free and fair elections,” Khan stressed, adding that recent media censorship, especially the acts being taken against Dawn group, has already put question marks over the holding of free and fair elections.
“We urge the caretaker Prime Minister, Justice (R) Nasir-ul-Mulk and Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar to take notice and bar the election body from taking such stupid steps,” Khan said.
“For fair elections and strengthened democracy media should be given free access to effectively cover elections,” the PFUJ-D Secretary General concluded.— NNI

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