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Friday August 12, 2022

Govt, media deadlock on PECA persists

The JAC announced that all discussions were being suspended until the draconian amendments to the PECA were reversed

By Sabah
February 22, 2022
JAC says Fawad Chaudhry is toying with the media fraternity in the guise of engagement. -The News/File
JAC says Fawad Chaudhry is toying with the media fraternity in the guise of engagement. -The News/File

KARACHI: The media Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Monday walked out of the meeting with the Information Ministry over PECA calling the engagement a farce.

The JAC comprised All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) and Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND).

The JAC announced that all discussions were being suspended until the draconian amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) were reversed.

“Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry is toying with the media fraternity in guise of engagement and keeps passing ordinances against freedom of speech while giving the impression that media fraternity is being engaged. There is a grave trail of examples where the Ministry of Information is tampering with freedom of speech muzzling the journalists’ right to report financially crippling media to influence journalism,” JAC said.

The fraternity had warned of this before and appealed to the PM previously as well that a dangerous trend had been emerging which is creating a distance between the government and the public as well as the media workers.

“All media bodies stand united to defend freedom of expression and people’s right to information, it added. In their joint statement the journalists’ organisations said that the government ignored the suggestions of the stakeholders and promulgated a presidential ordinance to stifle critical and constructive voices.

The JAC said that any such amendment or ordinance which would try to suppress freedom of expression would be strongly opposed on every forum. They said that the Joint Action Committee comprising journalist organisations would work against it to ensure the protection of freedom of press and promotion of freedom of expression.

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