Friday Mar 11, 2022
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Friday said that the power to make laws should be in the hands of the government, while the responsibility to implement those laws is the judiciary's duty.
Fawad issued the statement after holding a meeting with the Speaker of the Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi regarding the Pakistan Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 (PECA).
Earlier in the day, the speaker also met with the owners of newspaper companies and the media Joint Action Committee (JAC).
On March 2, Fawad had announced that the PTI-led government is ready to withdraw the controversial PECA Law.
The minister had said that in this regard, the government has handed over the mandate to Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi.
"If the media Joint Action Committee (JAC) could get its proposal approved, the government would also accept the recommendations," he had said.
Different journalist associations of Pakistan had challenged the recently promulgated PECA law in the Islamabad High Court. Since its promulgation, the challenged law has triggered protests from media bodies and civil society who have termed it a “draconian law”.
The journalist associations, including Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors (AEMEND), and some senior journalists of the country, had filed the petition through senior lawyer Munir A Malik.
Members of the journalist associations had called on Elahi at the assembly chambers to discuss their reservations regarding the PECA law.
Fully supporting the demands of the JAC, Elahi had demanded immediate withdrawal of amendment to the PECA Ordinance.
He said the PECA Ordinance is the government’s "selective treatment of the journalist community and the people of Pakistan."
"Media is the fourth pillar of the state, we fully believe in its freedom, he said, adding that media freedom is very essential for a country’s progress."
Elahi had added that "imposing any restriction on the freedom of the media is not in our interest," adding that "we have always worked for freedom of the media and welfare of its workers."