Trend of ‘street justice’ must stop, cautions govt

* Minister says no one can be allowed to be a judge and an advocate at the same time g PEMRA dealing with Geo TV issue * Says he met Geo management in Dubai

ISLAMABAD: Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed said on Sunday that the trend of ‘street justice’ should be abolished, adding that no one can be allowed to assume the role of a judge and an advocate at the same time.
Talking to media persons after visiting two-day ‘Education and Career Expo’ at the Pak-China Friendship Centre, the minister said the Geo Television issue was under consideration by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory (PEMRA) and that he would not like to interfere by issuing any statement at this stage. 
He said that consultation was going on regarding all matters related to media, adding that APNS, APNE and PBA were also being taken on board in this regard.
The minister cautioned that the media houses should use freedom of expression with responsibility. He said the government believed in freedom of expression but it was the need of hour to use this freedom with utmost responsibility. “Government is committed to protecting media freedom. But, it is also prime responsibility of journalists and media organisations to safeguard this freedom through responsible conduct,” he said.
He said that the government always welcomed media criticism and had not imposed any restrictions on it since coming into power. 
Replying to a question, the minister said that the cable operators should not take law into their hands by imposing ban on any channel on its own. He said the government wanted to resolve all issues through mutual consensus so that it could concentrate on other core issues including terrorism, poverty and unemployment.
The information minister said that he keeps meeting with all media houses from time to time. “I also met with Jang/Geo management in Dubai. I am fulfilling my responsibilities as per law,” he said, and added that he is not doing anything secretly. “My every action is public.”
He said those who were creating rumours will achieve nothing. 
He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had bitterly failed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He called upon PTI leaders to focus on issues of the province they were ruling.
Earlier speaking at the function, he said the government would pay fee of MA, MPhil and PhD students so that nobody could be deprived of higher education. He said that 100,000 laptops would be distributed among students on merit basis.
He said only those nations have prospered in the world who gave top priority to education and encouraged the right to raise questions. The minister also visited information desks set up by various universities in the expo and appreciated efforts of the organiser.

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