Kaira for bar on airing judges’ remarks
LAHORE, Feb 24: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira has appealed to judges to bar the media from publishing or airing the remarks they (judges) give during hearing of cases to shun an impression that any specific party was on trial.
Addressing a seminar on “Why democracy is obligatory for Pakistan” organised by the Pakistan Journalist Forum (PJF) here on Sunday, Kaira apprehended that tickers on news channels about judges’ remarks could damage the election campaigns of political parties concerned. Only the court decisions should be published, he added.
The minister said the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) respected the judiciary and it had always accepted court verdicts even when these were against the party. He cited the verdict in Zulfikar Ali Bhutto case, calling it judicial murder, besides the one resulting in removal of former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
He said the PPP would support the move if the media persons and the Election Commission prepared a code of conduct for election coverage.
Kaira said the caretaker set-up would be established under the constitutional parameters, adding that no one should speculate about it as it would be in place on its time.
He said initially consensus was needed between the leaders of the House and the Opposition, but (opposition leader) Chaudhry Nisar had refused to even sit with the prime minister. However, he hoped consensus would ultimately be evolved on caretaker set-up.
Kaira said the PPP-led government had made fundamental changes in the democratic system, adding that the next government would be able to deliver.
He claimed the government had removed the roots of terrorism from the country and now the terrorists could not claim to have their hold on any specific area.
He said the PPP-led government had devolved powers to the provinces, which got around Rs1,100 billion during the last two and a half years under the NFC Award.
Kaira said there were divisions in society but the PPP introduced the policy of reconciliation as talks were the real democratic way.
He said the so-called civilised world had pushed Pakistan into extremism, otherwise its people were democratic.
He appreciated the PJF and said the PPP would support such think-tanks as they were important for a vibrant society.—APP