Islamabad, June 01, 2022 (PPI-OT):Senate Standing Committee unanimously passed the “The Access of Media (Deaf and Dump) Person bill 2022”. Senator Saleem Mandviwala sponsored the bill. The Bill for the Protection of Journalists, passed by the previous government should be implemented as soon as possible, Chairman Committee Senator Faisal Javed
The Chairman Committee also sought details from the ministry, all the FIRs orchestrated against the renowned senior Anchorperson/Journalists. Senator Faisal Javed implored the ministry to present before the committee, all the details of Ad spending from 2008-till now. The Ministry was also told to table detail and reasons for the publication and spending on ads pertaining to the recent visit of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif to Turkey.
On the matter, put forwarded by Senator Irfan Siddiqui, regarding the cutting of precious trees at the historic building of Radio Pakistan Rawalpindi, the committee unanimously agreed and expressed their intent to call upon the Head Station PBC (RWP), National Environment Protection Agency and officials from the Environment protection unit of Punjab along with all the details of all the trees that have been cut down.
Islamabad, 1st June 2022: The Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting, with Senator Faisal Javed in the Chair, was held here at Parliament on Wednesday. Senators Irfan Siddiqui, Aon Abbas Buppi, Anwar Lal Dean, and Muhammad Tahir Bizinjo attended the meeting. Senator Saleem Mandviwala showed up as a mover. Secretary Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Chairman Pemra, Chairman PBC (Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation) along with other officials were also in attendance.
The Bill, “The Access of Media (Deaf and Dump) Persons Bill 2022”, tabled by Senator Saleem Mandviwalla was taken up as the first agenda item. The Senator gave a short brief about the bill. The Ministry and Chairman PEMRA didn’t question and objected to the bill, after which, with the consent of member senators the committee unanimously passed the bill. The Sponsor remarked that after consultation with the relevant entities the word “Dump” has been taken back.
Senator Irfan Siddiqui raised the matter of cutting down precious trees in the historic building of Radio Pakistan (RWP) which have been allegedly sold at a cheaper price. The Report presented by DG PBC was nullified and rejected by Senator Siddiqui.
After debating the matter, the Committee unanimously agreed and expressed their intent to call upon the Head Station (RWP), the National Environment Protection Agency and officials from the Environment protection unit of Punjab along with all the details of the trees that have been cut down.
DG PBC informed the Committee that 100 trees were auctioned amounting to 7 lac rupees due to the financial crisis faced by the corporation. Secretary Information and Broadcasting termed the auctioning a regular practice. The current shortfall of the corporation is Rs. 22 Million, DG informed.
The matter relating to the FIRs against renowned journalists and Anchor Persons was also taken up in the Committee. Anchor-persons Arshad Sharif and Imran Abbas appeared in person while Anchor-person Sabir Shakir and Vice President, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) showed up via the Zoom app. Anchor-persons acquainted the committee with all the facts relating to their cases.
Chairman Committee called this an attack on freedom of expression and directed the Ministry to expedite the implementation process of the Journalist protection bill. The Chairman urged the Secretary of the Ministry to also engage the Interior Ministry on the matter and ensured the rights and protection of journalists.
Senator Irfan Siddiqui underlined that he will, above party lines, stand with the Journalists who are being victimized and targeted. Senator Faisal Javed remarked that the issue will be taken up in the next meeting of the committee, to be held next week. Senator Tahir Bizinjo suggested calling upon all the IGPs of the four provinces and providing details of the complainants.
Briefing by the DG PBC on the working and performance of the organization and optimization plan of all lands and buildings under the administrative control of Radio Pakistan in the country was recessed till the next meeting.
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