Islamabad: The Supreme Court on Monday sought details of Information Ministry’s alleged secret stash worth billions of rupees on Wednesday and fixed April 30 for the investigation of important matters regarding media commission.
A two-member bench headed by Justice Jawad S Khawaja resumed the hearing of the media commission case. During the course of the proceedings, two senior journalists, Hamid Mir and Absar Alam, Secretary Election Commission Ishtiaq Ahmed Khan and high-ups of Information Ministry and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) appeared before the court.
Speaking on the occasion, Absar Alam alleged that the Information Ministry had secret funds worth of billions of rupees. He told the court that on one side the ministry gave Rs 850 million and on the other it had distributed Rs 870 million to different media conglomerates.The court asked officials of the ministry the purpose of these funds and was told that the funds were used for journalists who were in “severe” need.The court, however, said that the funds were public money and citizens had a right to know where the funds were being allocated.
Furthermore, the court ordered the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and PEMRA for details of the advertisements of political parties on their websites. The court further sought details of the total ad revenue collected from these websites.Moreover, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) secretary told the court that ECP had prepared a code of conduct for general elections in collaboration with the media. He further said that the code of conduct had been distributed among all media outlets. – PT