Cabinet to take up Press related laws -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Cabinet to take up Press related laws

KARACHI (APP) -Two new laws pertaining to the press namely the Newspaper/ News Agency/ Book Registration Ordinance 2002 and the Press Council of Pakistan Ordinance 2002 will be presented before the next meeting of the federal cabinet.

This was stated by Principal Information Officer (PIO), Mohammad Akram Shaheedi, while talking to senior journalists at a dinner at a hotel here on Friday.

He said after the approval by, the cabinet these laws will be enforced immediately.

Shaheedi said that the unanimous draft for these laws, agreed by all the stakeholders, was earlier referred to the Ministry of Law for vetting and will now be presented before the next meeting of the cabinet for approval.

He pointed out that the registration of news agencies in this law has been included owing to the mushroom growth of news agencies in the country.

The exercise, he added, was aimed at regulating the growth of news agencies in the interest of freedom of the press, freedom of expression as well as journalism.

The PIO said that under this law there will be a procedure for the setting up of a news agency. ,

About the proposed press council, he said that in case a citizen feels that any newspaper has resorted to his character assassination then he can appear before the Press Council.

However, Shaheedi added, he would have his right to go to the court forfeited if he opts to go before the Press Council.

The PIO said that at present two more laws are in the stage of consultation. These pertain to defamation and the freedom of information and access to information.

He said that for these the opinion of media men as well as all other concerned would b@ sought’ Shaheedi said the present government believed in freedom of the press and that on this very count its record is much better as compared to the previous govern merits.

He said the present government believes that the freedom of the press is good not only for feed back but also for good governance. The PIO stated that the freedom of the press is need of everyone- government, people and all others.

Replying to a question about the existence of dummy newspapers, he pointed out that the government is trying to come up with a mechanism to deal with such an issue.
Source: The Nation
Date:8/24/2002