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September 18, 2020

76m people in Pakistan have access to Internet, Senate body told

National

September 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting was Thursday informed that 76 million people in Pakistan have access to Internet while 40 million people use social media.

The chairman of the committee said that digital media is of utmost importance to build a positive image of Pakistan. Deep concern was expressed in the Senate committee over the arrest of Editor-in-Chief of Jang and Geo Group Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman and abduction of journalist Matiullah Jan.

The meeting of the standing committee was held here at the Parliament House under the chairmanship of Senator Faisal Javed. Senator Pervaiz Rashid of PML-N said that he had raised the issue of abduction of Matiullah Jan and arrest of Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman in previous meetings and they had serious concerns over both the incidents. He added that Matiullah Jan and security officials should also be called in the next meeting.

Pervaiz Rashid said that Matiullah Jan and Absar Alam and a journalist from Karachi, who was kept in jail for one day, should be heard in the committee.

Pervaiz Rashid emphasised that the issue of abduction of a person should be included in the agenda, on which the chairman of the committee said that the matter might be raised in the Senate. The chairman will refer the matter to the relevant committee.

The committee reviewed in detail the airing of a wrong map of Pakistan on the state-run TV and the chairman and members said that the wrong map was shown five times in two programmes, but equal punishment was not awarded to those responsible, as some were issued warning letters and asked why this discriminatory conduct was adopted.

Musadiq Malik had raised this issue on June 08, 2020. Faisal Javed said the standing committee had sought an inquiry report regarding the case of Musadiq Malik.

Anwarul Haq Kakar said the state TV head of marketing was summoned in the last meeting and if he did not turn in next meeting, then summons would be got issued in this context.

The chairman of the committee said that the prime minister was highlighting the Kashmir issue all over the world and the political map was shown in recent days, it unleashed fire all over India.

He added that the state TV should improve its monitoring system and rectify such shortcomings. “We are public representatives and the public's feelings were hurt by this incident,” he noted.