ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb speaking in the talk show of a private TV channel said that Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was the most popular leader according to all the surveys conducted since 2013 general election, when he was elected Prime Minister for the third time.

Responding to a question about the possibility of PML-N workers gathering in Islamabad on the occasion of Prime Minister's appearance before the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) on Thursday, Marriyum Aurangzeb said that the Prime Minister had already advised the party workers and supporters to stay away on that day, keeping in view the prevailing situation.

The Minister of State observed that it was a legal process and the Prime Minister was fully aware of the emotions of the workers, therefore, he had advised them to exercise restraint.

To another question, the Information Minister said that Parliament was an independent institution and Parliamentarians from both sides of the benches - government and Opposition, owed it to maintain its sanctity.

To another question, she said that Sharif family had the right of expressing whatsoever reservations it had over the conduct of JIT and it had also approached the apex court in that respect.

Marriyum Aurangzeb, in response to another query, said that the Prime Minister during his address to the nation and while speaking in the Parliament, had asked the apex court to constitute a Joint Investigation Team on Panama Papers issue.

About the formation of Saudi Arabian-led Islamic Alliance and Pakistan's position, she said that Defence Minister had already given his statement in the Parliament.

Replying to another question, she said that displaying banners in support of Nawaz Sharif in the Federal capital was only an expression of solidarity with him by the people.

To a question, she said that the government was not opposed to the idea of a having a separate television channel for live telecast of the Parliamentary proceedings, adding Speaker National Assembly and the Chairman Senate  could also ask for live streaming of speeches of all the Parliamentary leaders.

To yet another question, she said that the banners displayed by Islamabad Mayor in the Federal capital a couple of weeks back did not have any link with Panama Papers or JIT, and were only meant to hail the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for hosting the Summit conference of Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO).

MARRIYUM FOR ENHANCED PEMRA-PBA COORDINATION: Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb, while chairing a high level meeting here Tuesday stressed the need for effective and enhanced coordination and consultation between PEMRA and PBA to settle professional and legal issues.

Expressing her deep concern over extended litigation between Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) members and Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), she urged both the organizations to take maximum benefit of the opportunity of consultation provided in the PEMRA laws to reach an amicable solution of disputes.

The minister of state said that Government believes in freedom of expression and would continue to facilitate the growth of independent and responsible media in the country.

She said that ministry of IB&NH would play its role in facilitating the dialogue between the stakeholders of electronic media.

She appreciated the role of PEMRA in effectively implementing the PEMRA code of conduct 2015, but reiterated for more coordination and consultation between PEMRA and PBA.

The minister also noted that electronic media code of conduct-2015 was formulated after unprecedented consultations and deliberations by involving and taking all the stakeholders on board.

She therefore asked both the parties to display the same enthusiasm to address each other's concern within the ambit of law and code of conduct.

The meeting was attended by Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera, Secretary  I&B, Nasir Jamal, Director General, Internal Publicity Wing,  MOIB, Absar Alam, Chairman PEMRA, Muhammad Saleem,  Principal Information Officer, PID and Mian Amir Mehmood, Chairman PBA, Shakil Masood, General Secretary PBA, Mir Ibrahim, member PBA, Duraid Qureshi, member PBA and Shahab Zubari, member PBA and other senior officials of the ministry.