Islamabad, May 25, 2023 (PPI-OT): The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting condemned “shameless incidents” on 9th May and expressed solidarity with armed forces in the wake of attacks on martyrs’ monuments and defence installations almost across the country. The Committee directed the Ministry of Finance to release the sufficient funds for pensions and salaries of the employees of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (Radio Pakistan) and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting to ensure that these employees and pensioners get their outstanding payments.
2. 37th meeting of the Standing Committee was held today at 2:00 p.m. in the Committee Room of PTV Resource Center, PTV Headquarters, Islamabad, under the Chairpersonship of Ms. Javaria Zafar Aheer, MNA. The Hon. Chairperson and Members of the Committee condemned “shameless incidents” on 9th May and expressed solidarity with armed forces in the wake of attacks on martyrs’ monuments and defence installations almost across the country.
3. Earlier, the Committee considered the Private Member’s Bill, titled “The Indecent Advertisement Prohibition (Amendment) Bill, 2022” (moved by Mr. Muhammad Jamal-ud-Din, MNA). The Hon. Mover apprised that the amendment aims to curb the growing menace of indecency aired through advertisements by Private/Government TV Channels during current affairs programs, news, drama serials etc. that deteriorate the culture in the name of arts. He said that this indecency and the attempts of normalizing this leave immoral impacts not only on minds of viewers of all age but also present improper image of Islamic Republic of Pakistan abroad. He was of the view that the provisions of meager fine and penalty in the law need to be amended as the violators earn much more than the penalty which is resulting into surge violations. There was consensus in the Committee to pass the Bill, therefore, the Committee recommended to approve the said Bill.
4. While briefing upon the security pertaining to the protection of journalists and media professionals, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Operations), ICT, Islamabad apprised the Committee that all the SHOs of Police Stations are in close liaison with the journalists and media professionals. He informed that action against the crime has been taken by the authorities without any delay. However, patrolling officials of the ICT Police have already been directed for security of the Media Houses as well as residences of the Media professionals. The Chairperson of the Committee (Ms. Javaria Zafar Aheer) and the Committee Members directed to resolve the issues and complaints of male/female journalists / media professionals would be resolved on priority. The DIG (Operations) assured the Committee that ICT Police will ensure their best to prevent any unpleasant incident.
5. Later, the Committee deferred the Government Bills i.e. “The Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals (Amendment) Bill, 2023”, “The Press, Newspapers, news Agencies and Books Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2023” along with other legislative business and decided to consider the same in the next meeting.
6. The meeting was attended by Mr. Armaghan Subhani, Ms. Maiza Hameed, Ms. Kiran Imran Dar, Dr. Nafisa Shah, Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Behan, Dr. Shazia Sobia Aslam Soomro, Hon. MNAs. Moulana Abdul Akber Chitrali and Mr. Muhammad Jamal-ud-Din, MNAs/Movers also attended the meeting. The senior officers from M/o Information and Broadcasting, M/o Interior, representative from ICP Police, PEMRA, National Press Trust (NPT), PBC were also present in the meeting.
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