London, May 13 : Refuting press reports suggesting that the new federal government was planning a crackdown on the 'unrelenting' media persons, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari said that the government coalition believed in the freedom of the press, and that no strategy had been chalked out regarding crackdown on journalists.
Zardari also clarified that he had made no request to the Dubai government for shutting down of transmissions of Geo TV, and promised to remove all misunderstandings of the media after coming back home.
The PPP would fully support journalists against the hearing regarding contempt of court case against Geo TV, he said and added he had directed his lawyer Dr Babar Awan to appear in the court in May 22 hearing on behalf of newsmen.
Denied having played any role in the PEMRA's decision of not issuing license to the Geo English channel, he said that it was the prerogative of PEMRA alone.
Pakistan Information Minister Sherry Rehman also said that the PPP had decided to assist Geo TV in its case with the Supreme Court with regard to a news story. "The matter has been taken up with PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and we have decided to assist Geo television," The News quoted her as saying.
There was no reason that TV channels fulfilling formalities were denied licenses, she said and added that the federal government was looking into the matter and wanted to see more English channels going on air in the country, especially Geo English channel.