Journalists welcome ‘new era’ for media in Pakistan

April 12th, 2008 - 10:34 am ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pervez Musharraf

Brussels, April 12 (IANS) The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world’s biggest journalist’s group, has welcomed actions by Pakistan’s new government to withdraw restrictions on the media that were imposed by President Pervez Musharraf last year. The IFJ recently visited Pakistan and pressed President Musharraf and the new government for changes following elections in February this year, EuAsiaNews said.

The federation says the prompt action by the new political leadership signals the start of a “new era” for independent journalism in the country.

“We have been urging a fresh start and now it looks as though we are on the way,” said Aidan White, IFJ general secretary.

The new Information Minister Sherry Rahman has introduced a parliamentary bill proposing to end the ban on live broadcasts and also to scrap punishments for journalists who “defame” the president, the government or the army.

Rahman, who met the IFJ mission, assured all media would be free to broadcast their programmes.

The IFJ congratulated the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalist for the intense lobbying and campaigning for journalists’ rights that had put the media crisis on the political agenda.

“Our colleagues in Pakistan have opened the door to a new era for journalism and independent media,” said White.

The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide.

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