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MSR must be freed to dispel notion arrest was to ‘muzzle media independence’: PBA

Editor-in-Chief Jang/Geo Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman. — Geo News/File

Pakistan Broadcasters Association on Saturday called upon the state to look into the case of Editor-in-Chief Jang/Geo Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman who has been incarcerated for over 200 days despite the expiry of the remand granted to National Accountability Bureau.

A statement issued by PBA read: “Reference against him, with the alleged supporting evidence relied upon by NAB, has already been filed in court so there can be no fear of him tampering with evidence if released.”

The statement, while recognising that MSR, like any other citizen, is not above the law, appealed that he be allowed to contest the case against him as a free man, so that the impression that the arrest and prosecution was to “muzzle media independence” and to “serve as an example for the entire media industry” can be dispelled.

The statement was issued following an annual general meeting held by the association today in Karachi which was attended by a majority of members from the television and radio categories.

According to a press release, three members from TV were unanimously elected as directors to the PBA board by the general body in the “Elected Member Category”. These are Mohsin Raza Naqvi from City 42, Ghulam Nabi Morai from Mehran TV , and Chaudhry Abdul Rehman from Neo TV.

The statement said that three radio members, namely Sher Asfand Yar Khan from FM-107, Shahid Jamal from FM-106.2 and Nazafreen S Lakhani from FM-89 were also elected unopposed by the general body as directors to the PBA board.

Subsequently, in a board meeting, the following officer bearers were elected to the association for the year 2020-21:

Chairman – Mian Amer Mahmood (Dunya TV)

Senior Vice Chairman – Salman Iqbal (ARY)

Vice Chairman – Mir Ibrahim Rahman (Geo TV)

Secretary General – Shakeel Masud Hussain (Dawn News)

Joint Secretary – Ahmed Zuberi (Aaj TV)

Finance Secretary – Muhammad Athar Kazi (KTN)

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