ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has challenged before the Islamabad High Court (IHC) the definition of ‘journalist’ as well as Section 6 of the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act, 2021.

PFUJ Secretary General Nasir Zaidi filed the writ petition in the Islamabad High Court through Journalists’ Defence Committee (JDC) of Pakistan Bar Council (PBC).

The petition contended that Section 6 of the said Act was neither in consonance with the preamble of the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act, 2021 nor with the Constitution of Pakistan. According to the petition, “this provision violates the general principles laid down by the constitutional court for imposition of restrictions on the constitutional rights and freedoms, particularly the right to freedom of speech and expression and information as guaranteed under Article 19 and 19A of the Constitution.”

Questioning the exclusion of photojournalists and camerapersons from the definition of ‘journalist’ in the Act, the PFUJ in its petition maintained that excluding photographers and camerapersons from the definition of the ‘journalist’ tantamount to undermine the profession and role of photojournalism in informing and educating citizens.

After hearing arguments of counsel Aftab Alam, Babar Hayat and Umar Gillani, IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah issued notices to the federal ministry of information and broadcasting and federal ministry of human rights as well as attorney general to respond to the petition at next hearing on February 9.

Published in Dawn, January 23rd, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

On a leash
Updated 22 Feb, 2024

On a leash

Shehbaz will not find it easy to introduce the much-needed major changes to the economy without running into resistance.
Shameful veto
22 Feb, 2024

Shameful veto

THE US has scored a hat-trick by vetoing, for the third time, a resolution in the UN Security Council calling for an...
Truth under threat
22 Feb, 2024

Truth under threat

AS WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange mounts a last-ditch effort against being extradited from the UK to the US, one...
Silencing the public
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Silencing the public

Acting as if it is unaccountable, it is now curtailing citizens’ digital rights without even bothering to come up with a justification.
Fitch’s concern
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Fitch’s concern

It warns that “near-term political uncertainty may complicate the country’s efforts to secure a financing agreement with the IMF to succeed the Stand-by Arrangement”.
Zoo zealotry
Updated 21 Feb, 2024

Zoo zealotry

IN a bizarre twist of faith and fur, the Indian right-wing Hindu nationalist group, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, has...