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ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf has said that propagation of false news and unverified narratives has become a real challenge for all democratic societies.

“In today's era, false and untrue news reports are being spread, which are not related to reality. Our religion, Islam, strictly prohibits spreading any news without research. Spreading negative news, especially about prime institutions, has become a negative social trend. Giving news based on facts is a work of great reward in today's era,” the speaker said.

He was addressing the members of the Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA) at the Parliament House on Thursday.

He said that the journalist community’s role to reject such false propaganda against the Parliament is essential to keep the sanctity of the parliament intact.

The speaker said that the media plays the role of a bridge between the people and the public representative. He also asserted that the PRA is part and parcel of Parliament. He said that the early resolution of all issues faced by the PRA members had been his first priority.

“The journalists reporting the proceedings of the Parliament have a responsibility to convey verified news as only true news would keep the public trust intact in Parliament. The journalists should do their part to counter the fake news and whenever they need any information in this regard they can contact the National Assembly Secretariat,” he said.

The speaker of the National Assembly said that it is incumbent upon journalists to guide them and rectify them whenever they observe something against Parliamentary norms. He said that if someone disrespects this sacred institution, it is media representatives’ responsibility to discourage such efforts to malign this sacred institution. He said that this Parliament belongs to all and everyone should work together to raise its dignity.

Referring to the baseless and fabricated news on social media about the parliamentary delegation participating in the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, he said that as per criteria the Federal Parliament of Pakistan was entitled to have five members of parliament. “Of these five members, two were from the Senate and two members from National Assembly of Pakistan to participate in the conference. One MNA regretted and only Member of National Assembly MNA Romina Khursheed Alam participated in the conference,” he said.

He said that it was very sad that despite the denial of this news by the National Assembly Secretariat, the media houses tried to throw mud on the most reliable institution of the state without any investigation. The speaker said that we were able to successfully organize the third IPU Asia-Pacific Seminar during the last month.

He said that during the last one month, National Assembly has successfully organized mega-events, including the Diamond Jubilee celebrations on August 14 and the IPU Asia-Pacific Parliaments Seminar on SDGs. He said that in the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, the voice of children, women, minorities and even the eunuchs on the floor of the Parliament echoed in the Parliament House

The Speaker said that the aim of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) seminar was to highlight the irreparable damage caused by floods due to global climate change in Pakistan.

He said that the resounding success of IPU is that 34 countries of the Asia-Pacific agree to present an emergency resolution to highlight the damages caused by the flood disasters in the forthcoming IPU Conference to be held in Rwanda next month.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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