Legislatures should endeavour to be the gold standard for upholding rule of law, permission to PTI denied as per rules: Marriyum

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ISLAMABAD, May 11 (APP): Minister of State for

Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum
Aurengzeb winding up discussion on a motion by PTI in the senate
Thursday said that the permission to the party to hold a press
conference at PID was denied as per Rule 55, Section-3 of the
Rules of Business of the Government of Pakistan 1973, which did
not permit political parties to hold press conferences at PID.
The minister said that allowing the holding of
press conference at PID would have been violation of the rules
besides setting a wrong precedent.
She said that the concerned rule obligated all
federal government organizations that all official news
and information shall be conveyed to the press and general
public through PID or External Publicity Wing of
Information and Broadcasting Division and such officers as
may be authorized by the government shall act as official
spokesperson of the government while conducting press conference in
PID.
No statement involving foreign policy shall be made by a
person other than the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs or
the Prime Minister without prior consultation with the
Aoreign Affairs Division.
The minister referring to the permission given to PTI to hold
a press conference at PID in 2016 by the then information
minister, said that he might have relaxed the rules to allow
a political party to hold press conference at PID.
She said it was unpleasant for her to refuse the PTI members to
hold a press briefing at PID but she could not violate the
rules.
Marriyum contended that if the Parliamentarians who were
the authors of the laws and rules started violating the same,
then nobody would follow these laws and rules.
Marriyum said that if the Parliamentarians desired people to
respect the law and change their attitudes, then they would have to
set worth emulating examples for them.
The Minister explained that she had received a written request
by the PTI member just 15 minutes prior to the time set for
the press conference and she immediately asked the
Press Information Department for a prompt reply to the party
quoting the stated rule.
She quoted another instance when a
written request by PTI members was received just 15 minutes before
the time set for press conference and she had responded quoting
the same rules.
The MOS also responded to a point made by Leader of
the Opposition Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan and said, when the resignation
of the Prime Minister of Pakistan was being demanded in
connection with Panama Papers, the ministers used to
present the government’s stance and not of Pakistan Muslim
League-N in their press conference at PID, as the office of
chief executive was being targeted.
The minister also informed the House that no indecent
treatment was meted out to PTI members as she had strictly directed
the PID officials to show respect to the Parliamentarians even
though the live telecast by TV channels clearly
indicated that the PTI members approached PID accompanied by
some other people.