Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government on Tuesday lifted political censorship on the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) and Radio Pakistan by allowing these to air point of views and news of all political parties without any discrimination.
Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Fawad Chaudhary spoke out via Twitter saying that, “As per vision of [Prime Minister] Imran Khan ended political censorship on PTV, clear instructions issued for a complete editorial independence on PTV and Radio Pakistan, drastic changes will be visible in information department in coming three months”.
Chaudhry elaborated that PTV and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) would not be used as a private property by any government anymore rather these would be used to portray and promote the country’s positive image.
Before taking the reins of the ministry, the PTI leader said that the official media of the country which includes Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), PTV and Radio Pakistan would be improved and made independent with no political interference drawing parallels to foreign media outlets.
He doubled down on depoliticising the national news broadcaster and expressed making it independent like the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
During the Pakistan Muslim League –Nawaz (PML-N) government’s tenure, opposition parties called for PTV to run news and views of the opposition parties, but to no avail.
In view of the PML-N government’s response, the opposition parties had labelled the national broadcaster as the supposed ‘mouth piece’ of the government.
Moreover, opposition parties claimed that the political decisions and unnecessary coverage in support of the then government was a catalyst for PTV being mired by financial problems.
Outgoing setup suggests harsh economic measures to PTI
In the wake of the blow back by the opposition, the former PML-N government rolled out PTV Parliament, a new channel.
The new channel aimed to provide coverage of the parliamentary proceedings, as well as, being a platform through which citizens could delve into their elected representatives’ performance.
The former government launched this new channel despite knowing that PTV was already facing financial crunch.
Therefore considering the financial crunch PTV is currently facing, Hussain directed PTV and PBC to make all out efforts to generate revenues by improving their content, programming and screen.
He had also directed PTV Sports to focus more on promoting other traditional games of the country such as Kabaddi, Volleyball along with Cricket and the national game Hockey.