Tuesday Sep 14, 2021
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser said Tuesday that the decision to close the press gallery during the joint session of the National Assembly on Monday was taken after consultation with the Parliamentary Reporters Association (PRA).
“I couldn't afford a fight between two groups in the Parliament which could have resulted in the disrespect of media and the House,” Qaiser said while speaking to journalists. "However, there was some misunderstanding."
He said that there were reports that there could be a ruckus in the press gallery during the joint sitting of the Parliament, adding that the "people of the media" informed him of a possible commotion during the session."
The speaker said that PRA is a representative and part of the Parliament, therefore, they too should keep its rules and regulations in mind and should not exhibit misconduct under any circumstances.
He said that he has met the PRA representatives and both sides have explained things to each other.
PRA denies meeting speaker
Meanwhile, PRA Information Secretary Malik Saeed Awan denied Qaiser’s claim of having met a PRA delegation. He maintained that no one from the PRA met the speaker, and demanded an inquiry about which delegation did the speaker meet.
On Monday, President Dr Arif Alvi addressed a joint sitting of parliament. However, the media personnel and journalists had been forbidden from entering the press gallery of the Parliament before the commencement of the sitting.
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 PRA members staged a protest inside gate number 1 of the Parliament House.