LAHORE: Officials of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) on Monday said that the unfair distribution of advertisements to favored media houses and ban on advertisements on media groups has been met by PML-N Vice President Maryam Nawaz. Condemning Sharif’s confessional statement, it demanded that the PML-N leadership apologize for its undemocratic, anti-press freedom actions of the past. While the committee set up by the government should inform the nation through transparent investigation what other steps have been taken in the past to suppress the media, influence editorial policy and massacre undesirable media groups. In a statement, the CPNE termed Maryam Nawaz Sharif’s statement as a charge sheet against the Muslim League government, which is now seeking the cooperation of freedom of the press and independent media. The statement said that like previous governments, CPNE has always spoken out against anti-press measures by the present government and called for a transparent, acceptable and equitable mechanism to make the distribution of advertisements fair.
The CPNE has demanded that the decision of Federal Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry to set up an inquiry committee should not only focus on the distribution of advertisements during the PPP and PML-N regimes and awarding favored groups. He should conduct an impartial inquiry and also inform the public about the publicity policy of the last three years so that the report of the committee can be accepted by the people and the journalistic circles.