KARACHI: A Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) delegation called on Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah in the Sindh Assembly on Thursday, says a handout.

President KUJ Nizamuddin Siddiqui, general secretary Fahim Siddiqui and other KUJ office-bearers participated while the provincial minister was assisted by secretary information Rafiq Ahmed Buriro and others.

The meeting discussed Sindh Journalists’ Protection Bill and problems faced by journalists. The delegation presented its suggestions for incorporation in the bill.

Mr Shah told the delegation that on the directives of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Sindh government was working on a universal programme for welfare of journalists. He said that new legislation was under process for the welfare and protection of journalists.

The minister said that he wanted the Sindh Journalists Protection Bill to be introduced in the ongoing session of the Sindh Assembly so that it could become law as soon as possible. Besides, endowment fund is also being established for betterment of journalists, and its draft has been approved by Sindh chief minister which would be presented in provincial cabinet.

Mr Shah directed secretary information to incorporate the recommendations of KUJ in the bill to make it a comprehensive law.

Nasir Shah advised the KUJ delegation to register its members with Sindh labour department, so that media workers could also avail facilities similar to workers of industries. The minister assured the delegation that process of accreditation cards would be simplified.

Earlier, on behalf of KUJ, Fahim Siddiqui appreciated the Sindh government’s Journalists Protection Bill and said that it was the “best effort” so far in the government’s initiatives for the welfare of journalists. He said that KUJ has studied the Journalists Welfare and Protection Bill 2016 enacted at the federal level during the Nawaz Sharif era, and the current government’s bill is “much better”.

Mr Siddiqui also raised issue of accreditation cards and other problems faced by working journalists and presented proposals in this regard.

Published in Dawn, April 23rd, 2021

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