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LAHORE: A delegation of All Pakistan Newspapers Society, Pakistan Broadcasters Association, Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Editors called on Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervez Elahi at assembly chamber on Tuesday.

Chaudhry Pervez Elahi while talking to the delegation said that Pakistan Muslim League fully believes in freedom of expression and freedom of media. He said during their tenure they issued record licences to electronic media channels.

He termed the recently issued Pakistan Electronic Crimes (PECA) ordinance as discriminatory act against Journalists and people.

The delegation included Chairman PBA Mian Amir Mahmood, Shakeel Masood, Chaudhry Abdul Rehman, Mohsin Naqvi attended the meeting. From CPNE Kazim Khan, Ijaz-ul- Haq, Irshad Arif, Yousaf Nizami, President APNS Sarmad Ali, Naz Afrin Sehgal, Umar Shami and Shahab Zuberi. From AEMEND those attending the meeting were Muhammad Usman, Ayaz Khan and Mian Tahir.

Chaudhry Pervez Elahi assured their full support to the representatives of the media. He said free media is necessary for the progress of the country adding that it is the fourth pillar of the state.

Meanwhile, Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Siraj-ul-Haq has said that restrictions on free press will never be accepted. Haq urged media organisations to devise a code of conduct to ensure the press freedom and curb the menace of fake news.

During his meeting with a delegation of Joint Action Committee, comprising Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ), he assured full support for media.

The delegation included Mian Amir Mahmood, Dr Chaudhry Abdul Rehman, Naz Aafreen Sehgal, Shahab Zubair, Azhar Abbas, Kazim Khan, Ejaz ul Haq, Shakeel Masood, Ayaz Khan, Irshad Ahmed Arif, Sarmad Ali, Mian Tahir and Muhammad Usman. Secretary General Jamaat-e-Islami Amir-ul-Azeem, Secretary Information Jamaat-e-Islami Qaiser Sharif, Deputy General Secretary Muhammad Asghar were also present in the meeting.

Assuring full support to the Joint Action Committee of Journalists, Haq said condemned the government’s tactics of restricting freedom of expression and suppressing the media. He also appreciated the Islamabad High Court for stopping arrests under PECA amendment act.

He said that it beyond comprehension that PECA ordinance has been issued without defining and interpreting “fake news”. Haq said that under the PECA law, anyone can be punished even before his conviction. He said that during the current government tenure, thousands of journalists have lost their jobs.

The JI chief urged the media organizations to introduce their own code of conduct. “We are not in favour of setting up government regulation committees for electronic, print and digital media. The media should devise their own code of conduct to ensure press freedom and stop the menace of fake news.”

Moreover, meeting of All Pakistan Newspapers Society Punjab Committee held on February 26 under the chair Mumtaz Ahmad Tahir rejected the ordinance and demanded that government should take back the ordinance at once.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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