Saturday September 18, 2021

Elahi for review of ‘controversial’ media bill

Elahi for review of ‘controversial’ media bill

LAHORE: Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi was on Tuesday called on by all journalists representative organizations including Pakistan Broadcasting Association (PBA), APNS, CPNE, PFUJ and PUJ.

Speaking to the delegation, Pervez Elahi said the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) is a controversial bill and should be reviewed. “I do not think Prime Minister Imran Khan will approve such a controversial bill,” he said, adding that media is the fourth pillar of the state and “we fully believe in its independence, and always worked for media independence and its workers’ welfare”.

The delegation comprised Mir Ibrahim Rahman, Mian Amir Mehmood, Ch Abdur Rahman, Sarmad Ali, Mujibur Rehman Shami, Salim Bukhari, Rana Azeem, Kazim Khan, Ayaz Khan, Shakil Masood, Shahzad Butt, Ayaz Shuja, Zulfiqar Mehtu, Mian Tahir, Muhammad Usman and Naushad Ali.

He said the freedom of media is important for the development of Pakistan and imposing any kind of restrictions on media freedom “is not in our own interests”. He said the government and the PTI should understand that local government and general election are not far ahead. Media is the fourth pillar of the state, and "we believe in its independence."

The speaker said the controversial clause from the bill should be withdrawn without making it an ego question as an independent media is also vital to country's integrity. He said record licences for electronic media were issued during the PMLQ government. The PMLQ government took criticism on media media positively, and expects the same from the prime minister, he added. Appreciating Ch Pervez Elahi for his support for media rights, Mir Ibrahim Rahman demanded withdrawal of the controversial clause.