Committee formed to forge consensus on establishing Digital Media Authority

Published May 20, 2024
Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Monday. — PID
Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar addresses a press conference in Islamabad on Monday. — PID

Law Minister Azam Nazeer Tarar on Monday said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has set up a special committee to forge political consensus on the bill for the establishment of a Digital Media Authority in the country.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, he said Adviser to the Prime Minister on Political and Public Affairs Rana Sanaullah would be the convener of the forum, while other members include himself, Information Minister Attaullah Tarar, Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi and Minister of State for Information Technology Shazza Fatima Khawaja.

The law minister also said that parliamentary party leaders of the PPP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan and other coalition parties would also nominate their representatives.

Meanwhile, the information minister assured that the government had no intention of implementing unilateral legislation to establish the Digital Media Authority.

“All journalist organisations and press clubs will be taken into confidence on the matter,” Tarar said while hosting a delegation from the National Press Club (NPC) in Islamabad.

Media sta­keholders last week expressed serious concern over the federal governm­ent’s propo­sed Digital Media Auth­ority.

The Joint Action Com­mittee, which consists of the Pakistan Broa­dcasters Association (PBA), All Pa­­kistan Newspapers Socie­­ty (APNS), Council of Pak­istan Newspaper Edi­tors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Assoc­ia­tion of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND), issued a joint statement on Thursday.

The JAC statement demanded that the federal government hold extensive discussions with media organisations and other stakeholders.

“The JAC remains committed to engaging constructively with the government to ensure that the defamation legislation and code for digital media if enacted is fair, just, and in line with democratic principles,” the statement noted.

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