ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting sought representation of the NAB to brief the committee regarding Broadsheet matter; if the representative could not satisfy the panel, it may summon the chairman NAB in its next meeting.
The committee meeting was held under the chairmanship of Javed Latif, MNA, who said that it was the responsibility of the institution to explain "who was responsible for payment of millions of dollars to Broadsheet without recovery of any looted money?"
Senator Shibli Faraz said there was no point to summon the chairman National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to the committee at this time.
He said the prime minister has already constituted an inquiry committee to investigate the Broadsheet matter and determine the responsibility within 45 days.
He said as per terms of reference of the inquiry committee, responsibility would be fixed and its details would be shared with the information committee.
Moreover, he said the matter did not come under the domain of the committee on information and broadcasting.
Shibli Faraz said that at a time when an inquiry committee was working, summoning the NAB chairman in the committee could create confusion.
He said if the committee was not satisfied with the inquiry committee report only then could it summon him to the meeting.
He said if the committee, summons the chairman NAB, then it should also summon all persons named in the Broadsheet case.
During past five years the committee has never taken any agenda like this, he said, adding that the PTI had no worry on the Broadsheet issue, as it had nothing to do with this entire saga.
PTI MNA Farrukh Habib said that it was an "open and shut" affair, and if the committee summons the chairman NAB, then all aspects of the case should be discussed.
He said he differed with the proposal to summon the chairman NAB as it was not in the jurisdiction of the committee.
PTI MNA Kanwal Shauzab also opposed the idea to summon the head of the NAB.
On the proposal of the PTI MNA Kanwal Shauzab, the committee also decided to summon the owners of the media houses whose employees have not been paid salaries for many months.
Former president Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Afzal Butt said it was the responsibility of the government to ensure implementation of the law of the land so that media workers get their salaries in time.
Kanwal Shauzab said that it is the age of fifth generation war and the media has a very important role to play, but unfortunately working journalists have no protection of their jobs while labour laws are not being followed in letter an spirit.
Dr Nafeesa Shah said the bill related to the safety of journalists should be enacted and implemented.
The committee formed a sub-committee to look into the media issues comprising Naz Baloch, Kanwal Shauzab, and Saad Waseem.
The committee deferred the issue of senior journalist Matiullah Jan as it was informed that the matter was sub judice in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
While discussing the issue of PTV showing incomplete map of Pakistan, the committee asked the management to look into the issue of termination of lower staff on humanitarian grounds.
The committee was informed that the chairman PTV was the appellate authority in this regard and presently the post was vacant.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021