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Pakistan: Human Rights

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received on the freedom from government intrusion of (a) the press, (b) internet access and (c) telecommunications in Pakistan. (143222)

On 4 June, the Government of Pakistan introduced an ordinance giving the state regulatory media body, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, enhanced powers to confiscate equipment and revoke licences of media organisations without recourse to a complaints council. However, on 7 June, the Government of Pakistan withdrew these media restrictions pending a review. We welcome the decision to suspend the ordinance as the UK views media freedom as essential to economic and social development and stability, and we actively support the evolution of free and fair media in Pakistan. We have received no reports of government intrusion into internet access or telecommunications in Pakistan.