ISLAMABAD. Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb and the media’s Joint Action Committee have decided to enact legislation for curbing fake news and add a provision to the country’s electronic media regulatory authority law.
The consensus was reached during a meeting between the information minister and the JAC on Saturday. The decision to add the provision was aimed at fake news, which not only harmed the national interest but also had an adverse impact on national cohesion.
Marriyum assured the JAC members that the incumbent government would not compromise in “any way” on the right of freedom of expression. “PM Shehbaz Sharif is striving to promote the constitutional and fundamental right of freedom of expression,” she added.
Lashing out at the previous government for the “media gag,” she said that only democratic leaders valued and believed in the right of freedom of expression. “Free and independent media provides a shield to the politicians and we will strengthen it further.”
She claimed that the last four years proved to be devastating for the people, politics and journalism. Attempts were made to deprive people of their independence by muzzling the media through the closure of television channels and programmes, the minister alleged.
Marriyum said: “The media industry was destroyed by the previous government which also created the worst economic issues for the country.” She claimed that the incumbent government was fully cognizant of the problems faced by the journalist fraternity and intended to reverse the damage caused by the previous government to the media industry and economy.
Marriyum accused the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government of hatching a conspiracy against the country by bringing the national economy to the verge of bankruptcy. She strongly condemned the allegations hurled against some journalists by the PTI under the pretext of a “so-called foreign conspiracy”.
She supported the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists’ demand and assured them of all-out efforts to curb the malicious campaigns against the institutions and media in the name of a foreign conspiracy.
The minister said PTI chairman Imran Khan even “declared” those persons traitors who did expose his misdeeds and corruption.
She urged the media to play its role in countering such propaganda campaigns against the institutions and journalists.
The delegation congratulated Marriyum on assuming the charge of the information minister and appreciated her initiative to repeal “black media laws” of the previous government era – including the Pakistan Media Development Authority.
They hoped that the government would continue to promote democratic values and norms in the country.