Info Ministry briefs NA panel on draft legislation pertaining to attached departments

ISLAMABAD, Mar 20 (APP): The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Monday was given a briefing on draft legislation pertaining to attached departments of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, including the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Pakistan Information Department (PID), Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), Associate Press of Pakistan (APP) and other related acts.

While briefing the panel, Secretary Information and Broadcasting Shahera Shahid said seven bills were under consideration, which would be forwarded by the ministry to the Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) after making amendments.

In that regard, she said, the ministry had been persistently holding consultations with the stakeholders to seek their input as directed by the Islamabad High Court.

She said the ministry was also working on the draft bill for journalists’ protection, which would be finalized after incorporating suggestions from the stakeholders.

The Information Secretary said the cases pertaining to the protection of journalists and media professionals were transferred from the Human Rights Division to the Information Division, which had now transferred them to the Parliamentary Affairs Division.

The panel expressed dissatisfaction over the briefing given by the Secretary Information regarding the draft legislation.

The committee meeting chaired by Javaria Zafar Aheer directed that the Minister for Information and Broadcasting should brief the committee on the amendments in its next meeting.

The representative from the Islamabad Capital Territory Police briefed the committee on the progress of the cases pertaining to the protection of journalists and media professionals. He said directives had been issued to the patrolling officials of the ICT Police for the security of the media houses as well as the residences of the media professionals.

He said that as per the court directions, only one first information report would be registered in one case.

The committee directed the Minister for Interior to brief it regarding the measures taken by the ministry for the protection of journalists in the next meeting.

Later, the panel deferred the Private Member’s Bill titled “The Indecent Advertisement Prohibition (Amendment) Bill, 2022” (moved by Muhammad Jamal-ud-Din, MNA) along with other legislative business and decided to consider the same in the next meeting.

The meeting was attended by members of the National Assembly Zulfiqar Ali Behan, Ms. Naz Baloch, and Prof. Dr. Shahnaz Naseer Baloch and Nasir Khan Musa Zai, while Kiran Imran Dar and Ms Zaib Jaffar joined it through video-link. MNAs Moulana Abdul Akber Chitrali, Muhammad Jamal-ud-din and Aliya Kamran, movers of the respective motions / bills, also attended the meeting.

Senior officers from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and its attached departments, the Ministry of Law & Justice, and the Ministry of Interior were also present during the meeting.

APP Services