National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting meets
Monday, 20th March, 2023
Islamabad, the 20th March, 2023: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting expressed its displeasure over the briefing given by the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting regarding draft legislation pertaining to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Pakistan Information Department (PID), Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), Associate Press of Pakistan (APP) and other related acts. The Committee directed that Minister for Information and Broadcasting should brief the Committee on these amendments in the next meeting.
2. 36th meeting of the Standing Committee was held today at 11:00 a.m. in the Parliament House, Islamabad, under the Chairpersonship of Ms. Javaria Zafar Aheer, MNA.
3. While briefing, the Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting apprised that there are 07 Bills which are under consideration and the Ministry will put forward the same to Cabinet Committee for Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) after making amendments. She said that the Ministry has been directed by the Hon’ble Islamabad High Court to consult all the stakeholders before making the amendments. She was of the view that the Ministry is carrying out continuous engagements with the pertinent stakeholders, as directed by the Hon’ble Islamabad High Court. She explained that Ministry is also working on the protection of Journalists and the consultation is going on with the stakeholders in this regard, however, trying to given the necessary rights to the Journalists. The Secretary mentioned that the cases pertaining to Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals had been transferred from to Human Rights Division to the Information Division, which has now transferred them to the Parliamentary Affairs Division. She said that Ministry will give a detailed briefing on the Bill which the Committee desired to have a briefing. The Committee expressed its serious reservations over the briefing given by Ministry, however, directed that Minister for Information and Broadcasting should brief the Committee on the amendments pertaining to PEMRA, PID, PBC, APP and other related Acts.
4. The representative from the Islamabad Capital Territory Police briefed the Committee upon the progress of the cases pertaining to the protection of journalists and media professionals. He informed that the directions have been given to the patrolling officials of the ICT Police for security of the Media Houses as well as residences of the Media professionals. He also informed that as per directions of the Hon’ble Court only one FIR will be registered against one case. The Committee directed that Minister for Interior may brief the Committee regarding measures taken by the Ministry for protection of Journalists in the next meeting.
5. Later, the Committee deferred the Private Member’s Bill, titled “The Indecent Advertisement Prohibition (Amendment) Bill, 2022” (moved by Mr. Muhammad Jamal-ud-Din, MNA) along with other legislative business and decided to consider the same in the next meeting.
6. The meeting was attended by Ms. Kiran Imran Dar, Ms. Zaib Jaffar (through vide-link), Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Behan, Ms. Naz Baloch, and Prof. Dr. Shahnaz Naseer Baloch, Mr. Nasir Khan Musa Zai, Hon. MNAs. Moulana Abdul Akber Chitrali, Mr. Muhammad Jamal-ud-din and Ms. Aliya Kamran, MNAs/Movers also attended the meeting. The senior officers from M/o Information and Broadcasting, M/o Law & Justice, M/o Interior, representative from ICP Police, PEMRA, PID, PBC and APP were also present in the meeting.