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Old Thursday, September 26, 2013
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Default zohaib babar

Originally Posted by sadafnoorelahi View Post
thanks a lot sir for your selfless act. sir,kindly also cover press under ppp era of zardari rule.this would be highly beneficial and will make the answer up to date.or please guide where i can obtain the information of press under the ppp rule.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s Era

In December 1971, when the break-up of Pakistan and the birth of Bangladesh occurred, General Yahya Khan handed over power to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as President and Pakistan’s first civilian Chief Martial Law Administrator who continued to use martial law up to April 1972 when an interim constitution was adopted, prior to the enactment of a new constitution by the National assembly in August 1973. Bhutto,however, reacting to criticism by various members of the press, imprisoned editors and publishers on the pretext of national security.

The next five years, from 1972 to 1977, represented the beginnings of democracy; however, they were marred by repressive actions toward the press. The new constitution, although formulated on the principles of democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech, did not deliver on these promises. The PPO remained, as did the National Press Trust. Furthermore, through coercion and manipulation, the government insured that the only other news agency in the country (aside from the government-owned
APP), the Pakistan Press International (PPI), was brought under its authority.

General Zia’s Era

In 1977, General Zia ul Haq ousted Bhutto from the prime minister position and once again imposed martial law under which abuse of journalists became public rather than covert. Journalists were flogged in public at Zia’s whim. Although martial law usually ends with a Supreme Court-imposed deadline by which elections must be held, Zia was given no such deadline, and his time in office up to August 1988 had a deleterious effect on the mass media. Not one single law or regulation of any progressive character was created during Zia’s rule. The only positive outcome of Zia’s rule was the restoration of the news agency PPI to its original shareholders. Since then PPI provides a valuable alternative news source to the government-controlled APP.

In 1985, Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo was elected to the National Assembly, based on nonparty elections, and lifted martial law in December 1985. Even though Junejo was a more democratic political figure, the PPO remained in place under him, and he relied on the old media laws. However, in May 1988 President General Zia ul Haq dissolved the National Assembly and dismissed the Government of Prime Minister Junejo, replacing them with a cabinet of his own and no prime minister. This arrangement only lasted 11 weeks as Haq was killed in a suspicious plane crash in August 1988.

This incident resulted in the Chairman of the Senate, Mr. Ghulam Ishaq Khan, succeeding to the office of President as per the constitution. A caretaker government provided transition to a full-fledged democracy,which included repealing the press law that had coerced the media for so long.

A new law, known as the Registration of Printing Presses and Publications Ordinance came into effect in 1988. A key change in this law made it mandatory for the District Magistrate to issue a receipt to an applicant for the issuance of a declaration for the keeping of a printing press or the publication of a journal to provide the applicant with proof that would help avoid government interference. The most significant change made in the press law of 1988 was the removal of power from the government and the right of an applicant to be heard in person by the authority before any punitive action
was taken, like the closure of a press. Appeals were also now allowed. In addition, newspapers were no longer obligated to publish in full the press notes issued by the government.

For a variety of reasons, the press law of 1988 continued to be re-promulgated as an ordinance through 1997, even though the Supreme Court ruled such re-promulgation unconstitutional. One key reason for
this was the recurring demands by representative bodies of the press to revise the 1988 law even further to remove any executive power to control the press.

Benazir’s Regime

The November 1988 elections saw Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, the first Muslim woman prime minister of the world, assume office. She brought with her a new phase of liberalism toward the mass media laws and regulations. For example, Bhutto’s government allowed government-controlled radio and television to provide daily and well-balanced coverage of the speeches and statements of its opposition in news bulletins and current affairs programs. Because the print media reaches such a small percentage of the population, this change had a significant impact on the pubic, but was returned to the old, one-sided coverage after only four months because of pressure on Bhutto by her party, the Pakistan People’s Party.desktop publishing allowed a more timely and in-depth reporting of the news. Bhutto also ended the manipulative government practice of using newsprint as a means of controlling the press. Specifically, the Ministry of Information no longer required issuance of permits to import newsprint and allowed a free and open system of importing newsprint at market prices.

In 1990, President Ishaq Khan dismissed Bhutto’s government, charging them with misconduct, and declared a state of emergency. Bhutto and her party lost the October elections, and the new Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, took over. For reasons not apparent to the public, Sharif restored the issuance of permits system for news-print import.
The charges against Bhutto were resolved, and after a bitter campaign, the PPP was returned to power in October 1993, and Bhutto was again named prime minister. She was ousted again in 1996 amid charges of corruption, a caretaker government was installed, and Sharif defeated Bhutto in the February 1997 elections.

Sharif’s Period

In Sharif’s two and one-half years in power, he used many heavy-handed methods to deal with journalists who dared to criticize his government. He put tremendous pressure on independent journalists, using both covert and overt means of retribution. His Pakistan Muslim League party (PML) achieved a landslide electoral victory in the National Assembly, which made Sharif believe he had been given a heavy mandate to rule the country as he saw fit. He was able to cast aside all democratic checks on his power, except for the press. In the end, the press survived whereas Sharif did not. The press, in fact, through its wide reporting of Sharif’s abuse of power, prepared the Pakistani people for General Pervez Musharraf’s military coup on October 12, 1999.

Musharraf’s Regime

In May 2000 Musharraf’s regime was strengthened by a unanimous decision by the Supreme Court to validate the October 1999 coup as having been necessary; at the same time the Court announced that the Chief Executive should name a date not later than 90 days before the expiry of the three-year period from October 12, 1999 for the holding of elections to the National Assembly, the provincial assemblies, and the Senate.

In Pakistan today a cooperative effort appears to be underway between Musharraf’s government and the journalism community. In general, Musharraf’s administration seems to follow a more liberal policy towards the press with fewer restrictions and much less manipulation. However, reports vary widely.

Whereas the Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) reported continued harassment of and dangers to journalists, some journalists currently working for Pakistani newspapers offer another version of the situation. A. R. Khaliq, assistant editor for Business Recorder, reported that the press, by and large, is not
faced with any coercion or abuse under Musharraf.
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