ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani has assured journalists of playing the role of mediator on the proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority to resolve the issue through consultation.
“I will convey the concerns of journalists on the bill to the prime minister and information minister and to make all-out efforts to resolve the issue through consultation,” he said while addressing oath-taking of newly-elected executive body of the Parliamentary Reporters Association here at the Parliament House Friday.
On the occasion, seasoned journalists Ziauddin and Nusrat Javed were awarded life achievement awards by the Parliamentary Reporters Association. Asking the journalists to withdraw their protest call against the proposed Pakistan Media DevelopmentAuthority (PMDA), Sanjrani asked for time for mutual consultation and negotiations.
“If the media law is to be enacted, it should come through mutual consultation and all the stakeholders will be brought together at one table,” he said.
He said that the media-related legislation will be further improved in consultation with all the stakeholders so that a consensus of political parties and journalists bodies can be achieved on the matter.
He hoped that the new PRA leadership will play its positive role in further improving the links between the parliament and journalistic community. “The media is playing a role of bridge between the parliament and the public,” he said.
The chairman said the Journalist Protection Bill could not be passed in the past due to the opposition. “But now efforts will be made to convince them and pass the Journalists Protection Bill after consulting all the stakeholders,” he said.
Sanjrani said that it is our responsibility to pass the PEMRA Amendment Ordinance to provide job security to journalists and address other issues. He said that the PRA’s role is very important in providing information about important issues, including the parliamentary proceedings.
“Press Gallery is very important part of Parliament and I will try my best to solve the problems of PRA members,” he said. He said that media creates a better connection between public and legislators and supports the public by keeping them informed and hopefully these elected officials will fulfil their responsibilities in a professional manner. “We believe in independent and transparent journalism,” he said.
He said that the social media has acquired a very vital role in society and its efficient use can benefit the country hugely. The Senate chairman assured the PRA officials of expediting the process of legislation regarding journalists’ protection and welfare.
He also pledged a grant of Rs1 million to PRA in his personal capacity. He said that we will facilitate journalists and send them to the assemblies of all the provinces.
“I will talk to the government regarding the facility of health cards for journalists on a priority basis and a fund to be established in the name of PRA for betterment and welfare of journalists,” he said He pledged provision of assistance of Rs300,000 for families of journalists who died from corona virus. They were Arshad Waheed Chaudhry, Malik Tariq Mehmood, Sohail Abdul Nasir and Johar Majeed and Senate Deputy Chairman Mirza Muhammad Afridi will also provide Rs300,000 in this regard.
PRA President Siddique Sajid and Secretary Asif Bashir Chaudhry also addressed the gathering. Deputy Chairman Mirza Muhammad Afridi, Senators Abdul Qadir and Danesh Kumar also attended.
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