Monday Sep 13, 2021
ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister Ali Nawaz Awan Monday terms the closure of National Assembly’s press gallery during the joint Parliamentary session "wrong".
Speaking during Geo News programme "Capital Talk", Awan said that the press gallery has no connection with the government and only the speaker has the authority to allow media representatives in or not.
“The press gallery shouldn’t have been locked for journalists. It is wrong,” said Awan.
He said that the media representatives should be allowed to sit in the press gallery in the next assembly session because reporting is their right.
Awan went on to say that journalists have a stance on the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) and they may have wanted to raise the matter.
“Changes keep occurring in the laws of a country and if anyone has an issue with the PMDA, they have a right to highlight it,” said Awan.
Before the commencement of President Dr Arif Alvi’s address to a joint sitting of parliament on Monday, media personnel and journalists had been forbidden from entering the press gallery of the Parliament.
According to a Geo News report, Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA) members tried inquiring about the situation but they could not find out as to who had issued the orders to block the press from entering the Parliament.
All Opposition and independent members of the two houses boycotted the presidential address after raising their voice for solidarity with the media having sit-in outside the Parliament House to oppose the establishment of the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) and electronic voting machines.
In response, the Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA) members staged a protest inside gate number 1 of the Parliament House.