KARACHI - Minister of State for Broadcasting and Information Marriyum Aurangzeb asserted on Sunday that a detailed revised notification over Dawn leaks probe report would be issued either on Monday or the next day.

Talking to the mediamen in Karachi, the minister said the Ministry of Interior would issue the revised notification within two days. She said Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Minister for the Interior called on Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Sunday as well in Islamabad.

She said that the federal government has permitted freedom of expression at every level. Any incident should be reported but not ‘created’ to be reported, the minister said. Aurangzeb said that it would be inappropriate to comment on Dawn leaks.

The minister said before the issuance of the notification it would not be appropriate to say anything on the matter. “Politics is being done over Dawn leaks – the interior ministry will issue a notification on Dawn leaks tomorrow or day after tomorrow as directed by Prime Minister Nawaz,” she added “the notification will address all apprehensions.”

“A detailed notification will be issued which will tell us who played what role in Dawn Leaks. It is right now premature to comment on what is in it and what are the recommendations.”

According to press release issued in Islamabad late in the night, Marriyum Aurangzeb, while addressing the representatives of the Council for Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) in Karachi on Sunday, said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is the first-ever Pakistani leader who was elected thrice by the masses as their premier and presented himself as well as his ancestors and off-springs for accountability.

She recalled soon after the publication of Panama Papers, prime minister presented himself for accountability without any hesitation. “It is for the first time in the history of Pakistan that a leader presented his three generations for accountability,” she said.

She said prime minister addressed the nation after publication of Panama Papers and he had himself called for establishment of a Joint Investigation Team to probe into it.

She recalled that prime minister in his letter to the Supreme Court had called for an investigation into the matter and extended his full cooperation and assistance to the apex court in this regard.

She said Sharif’s is the first political family which is giving explanation about its past. She hoped that this process of accountability that has started with the prime minister would continue and others would also be held accountable.

She said prime minister would respond to all queries at all levels for the sake of confidence of the people of Pakistan.

Assailing opposition for launching a vilification campaign against Maryam Nawaz, the minister said neither Prime Minister Sharif nor PML-N has yet nominated Maryam as their candidate for the prime minister in future and the criticism going on in the media with regard to Maryam is absolutely unjustified.

She said in fact it is the opposition that has given status of prime minister to Maryam through its consistent vilification campaign which has been going for more than a year.

“The PML-N has not nominated Maryam as successor to prime minister but it is opposition which has given this status to her.” Marriyum stressed.

She said that PML-N is a democratic party and believes in nurturing democratic values, adding it is for the PML-N to decide the election strategy as well as status for Maryam.

“If she were to be elected then it is for the party to decide about the constituency from where she was to contest the election,” the state minister added.

She said if Allah Almighty wanted and people of Pakistan desired, then Maryam would become prime minister of this country one day, Insha Allah. However, she made it clear that so far the PML-N has not made any decision in this connection.

“If party and the people of Pakistan reposed confidence in Maryam then we have to respect that decision.”

She said it is highly unfortunate that opposition is unnecessarily dragging Maryam into Dawn Leaks issue while she has nothing to do with it. She advised the opposition that while talking about women and daughters, they should refrain from hurling unfounded accusations and allegations. She said they should not level accusations against anyone without evidence and proof.”It is highly inappropriate and unethical to involve anyone, particularly a woman into controversies, and that too without any proof, Marriyum said.

Marriyum said the present democratic government has always upheld the right to the freedom of expression as it believes that independent media is sine quo non for a free and democratic society.

Lauding the role of CPNE and print media, she said her ministry is fully aware of the issues faced by regional newspapers and is therefore contemplating the automation and computerisation of Audit Bureau of Circulation with a view to ensure fair and transparent circulation audit. Marriyum also assured that the objective of ABC reorganisation is to further strengthen and facilitate the print media industry as monitoring of newspapers circulation all over the world is a common and routine phenomenon.

She said once the online system is in place, it will not only discourage forgery but would also ensure the norms of transparency and improve governance.

She said the principal information officer along with the team of Press Information Department would be sent to the CPNE office to discuss their various issues and problems in detail and would also share the demo of software designed to improve the working of ABC with the stakeholders. She said that the government fully supports the fundamental right to freedom of expression but she underlined that the matters pertaining to national security should be fully taken into account while exercising this inalienable constitutional right.

Marriyum said that media in Pakistan is evolving and attaining maturity with the passage of time, adding that sensational news is losing their significance among people and now-a-days entertainment TV channels are becoming more popular among the masses.” An event must be reported but it should not be concocted and created”, the minister emphasized.

She said with the passage of time, awareness among the people has considerably improved who can now easily differentiate between sensationalism and real journalism. She also underlined the importance of online channels in the present age.

The minister said the present democratic dispensation welcomes constructive criticism which is meant to bring improvement in working and functioning of the government.

Referring to the Dawn Leaks issue, she said the ministry of interior would issue notification in this regard and it would be inappropriate to comment on the proposed notification before it is released. However, she made it clear that the proposed notification would fully explain the role and details of the persons involved.

Speaking on the problems which mar Pakistan’s film industry’s progress, Marriyum said film, production and broadcast policy is being devised for the first time in country’s history as film has been one of the greatest tools to reinforce cultural values and to discourage divisive tendencies in the society that hinder creativity and openness. She also underscored the importance of film in promoting the counter-narrative against terrorism and urged media to create awareness among the masses about the role of film as antidote to extremism. She said that government is determined to revive the old glory of an industry that was once acknowledged globally for the quality of its productions and whose artists were also the identity of a nation.

The minister of state said prime minister’s vision, security forces and the people of Pakistan have played the key role in the war against extremism and terrorism.

Besides curricula, she said media and journalists could also make use of the strength of their pen & cameras to design counter-narrative to extremism.

Responding to the questions of editors, the minister said CPEC is in fact a project for the development and progress of the country and any fears or apprehensions in this regard are unjustified,

She said the government plans to launch a dialogue with the help of planning commission to create awareness among the people and highlight importance of this project for the development and progress of the country.