Election panel orders Pak TV, radio to curb bias in coverage

In the subcontinent, government controlled media has more often than not faced accusations of biased coverage. And in this regard, Pakistan's state media must certainly classify as among the worst villains.

Therefore it remains to be seen whether an order issued late on Thursday by chief election commissioner (CEC) Irshad Hasan, following complaints raised by the opposition Pakistan People Party led by Benazir Bhutto, will have more than lip service value.

CEC Hasan's order followed PPP complaints that state-run media was maligning the party and its leader Benazir Bhutto, French news agency AFP reported.

The order states that radio and TV authorities must ensure "that the election coverage is not biased in favour of any political party," the AFP report states.

The PPP is spearheading a 15-party alliance of opposition parties campaigning against General Pervez Musharraf since he took power in a bloodless coup in October 1999. Parliamentary and senate elections on 10 October will be the first since Musharraf took over.

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