Media ‘Martial Law’ will Majorly Set Pakistan Back 

The Pakistan government has kicked up a storm over a new plan to rein in the media, particularly freedom of expression in the digital realm, by proposing highly centralized new regulations and expanding its existing coercive censorship regime further.

The plan to create the so-called Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) seeks to repeal existing media related laws, merge current regulatory authorities for print and electronic media plus bring the country’s rapidly expanding digital media under greater ‘control’. The authority will expand the current ban on criticism of the military, judiciary and Islam to now include the president, politicians and clerics. It will also establish a media tribunal that will impose heavy fines and jail terms for violations.

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