ISLAMABAD – Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar formed a search committee to appoint the chairperson for Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), stressing the need for independence of the media watchdog.
During the hearing of the case related to media commission, the top judge remarked that the court wanted to end the government’s control over PEMRA, observing that the institution should be an independent one.
“There is no sword hanging over the government regarding this issue but this should be done,” Chief Justice Nisar declared.
The three-member bench was informed by Additional Attorney General (AAG) Rana Waqar that the government had formed a seven-member committee which will include prominent journalists and the chairman of the Pakistan Broadcasters Association for filling the top slot of PEMRA.
He continued that the committee will further form a three-member panel to select chairman PEMRA, however, the chief justice observed that the procedure would take a lot of time.
Upon this, the AAG assured that the task will be completed within three weeks, following which the court formed a search committee but replaced State Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb with the information secretary Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera, observing that the minister must be busy giving statements.
The chief justice remarked that the said minister will have difficulty taking time out for the committee.
During the hearing, the AAG stated that the issues raised by the chief justice would be concluded by him before leaving office.
The chief justice responded that this case was not initiated by him, however, he will conclude it.
During the hearing of the case, the chief justice observed that the court was displaying patience, mentioning that anti-judiciary slogans were raised outside the apex court on Friday after the announcement of verdict related to the tenure of the disqualification under Article 62 (1) (f).
“I don’t know any lion. These are the real lions,” the chief justice observed as he pointed towards the fellow judges, in a veiled reference towards the electoral symbol of embattled Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz.
Referring to the critics of the superior judiciary, Chief Justice Nisar added they shield themselves behind women.