ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb on Monday asked the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to participate in electoral reforms process.

Speaking at a dialogue on security and welfare of working journalists at the National Press Club, she said that the PTI had not been attending sessions of parliament regularly and instead its chief Imran Khan was pressurising state institutions.

She said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had already issued directives to take comprehensive measures for safety and security of journalists and media workers.

The minister said that all stakeholders should participate in the process in giving the finishing touch to the draft bill regarding the safety and welfare of working journalists.

She said that protection and welfare of journalists was the responsibility of the government.

Aurangzeb said that a journalists’ council will also be formed for the implementation of the bill in letter and spirit.

She said the bill has been generalised to accommodate recommendations of all sections of the media and civil society. She said that recommendations regarding the Wage Board Award and the journalist endowment fund will be considered before finalising the bill.

Meanwhile, presiding over a consultative session regarding the computerisation and automation of the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) she said the new system would be beneficial to all stakeholders.

Representatives of media bodies and officials of federal and provincial information departments attended the session.

Aurangzeb said that regional and local newspapers would also benefit from the modern technology and new management information system.

She said that automation was primarily aimed at ensuring credible and authentic newspapers circulation data, Once the online system was in place it would not only prove beneficial for the media industry but also enhance transparency and good governance, she said.

The minister directed the authorities to share the management information system with the stakeholders for a test launch and it was decided that feedback by them would be given due consideration before the formal launch of the automation system.

It was further decided that the stakeholders would come up with their feedback by May 10 and the next consultative session would be held on May 15.

The media bodies appreciated the efforts of the ministry in streamlining and facilitating the existing process of ABC.