ISLAMABAD - National Assembly Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage has formed a sub-committee for further deliberation on two different bills regarding protection of journalists community.

The meeting was held Wednesday in the Chair of Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla and discussed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2017 and performances of sub-departments of ministry as well.

The committee considered  “The Protection of Journalists Bill, 2014” moved by MNA Sahibzada Tariq Ullah, Information Ministry Journalist Protection Bill in detail and decided to constitute a sub-committee under rule 224 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly, 2007 under the Convenership of  MNA Naeema Kishwer Khan on the said bills.

Minister of State for Information briefed the committee that government introduces a “Journalists Protection Bill” and it was under discussion in the committee meetings from the last eight months. She said the Journalist Protection Bill will be presented in Wednesday’s cabinet meeting or next meeting for approval.

She said all clauses of Sahbzada Tariq’s Bill and suggestions of other committee members are part of government’s Journalist Protection Bill.  She said the government and media houses would work together for betterment of journalists across the country. 

She said former prime minster Nawaz Sharif directed her with assuming charge of the ministry to introduce a legislation of the protection of journalists.

The chairman committee and other members showed displeasure on slow work on Journalist Protection Bill and Bodla said Information Ministry did not show the responsibility on Journalists Protection Bill. He said Information Ministry has demanded Rs200 million for journalists welfare from the Finance Division.

Shabzada Tariq said ministry should have demanded the budget after approving the Bill.  Talking about Intelligence Bureau’s letter regarding parliamentarians, she said, the IB had declared it fake and an FIR has also been registered in this regard.

A committee member Naeema Kishwar said the government should investigate this letter and also take action against responsible. Azhar Jaddon suggested that FIR should have also been registered against DG IB.

The chairman committee said names of three members of information committee were also included in the list and these members privilege were also breached.

The committee also considered “The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Amendment) Bill, 2017” moved by MNA Dr Fouzia Hameed and after detail deliberation decided that the Bill may not be passed by the Assembly.

The committee also discussed the “Redistributive Land Reforms Bill, 2017” moved by MNA Iqbal Quadri and decided that the Bill may be deferred till its next meeting.

The committee unanimously confirmed the minutes of its previous meetings held on July 20, 2017 and September 28, 2017.

 

The briefing by National History and Literary Heritage Division for preservation of National History and Heritage was deferred by the Committee due to the non-availability of Irfan Siddiqui, Advisor to the Honourable Prime Minister.

MNAs Malik Shakir Bashir Awan, Muhammad Khan Daha,  Waseem Akhtar Shaikh,  Ghulam Bibi Bharwana,  Zeb Jaffar, Parveen Masood Bhatti,  Arifa Khalid Parvez, Ch. Muhammad Tufail, Dr Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon,  Naeema Kishwer Khan, Malik Muhammad Aamir Dogar, Sahibzada Tariq Ullah and Dr Fouzia Hameed also attended the meeting.