CPNE opposes regulatory body
KARACHI: The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors has opposed the government’s proposal to set up a press and publications regulatory authority, describing it as `yet another attempt to control the press in the name of regulation’. In a statement issued after a meeting of its Standing Committee on Saturday, the CPNE said the government had not consulted representative bodies of the press over the issue, including the CPNE.
The Secretary-General of the council, Mr Wamiq Zuberi, placed a draft of the proposed bill before the committee. After a lengthy deliberation, the participants expressed a unanimous opinion that the bill was a `veiled attempt to control the press, and not to regulate it’.
The meeting observed that the `secrecy maintained by the government smacks of other designs and exposes a desire to gag the print media’.
The meeting evolved a consensus on the need to launch a campaign against the bill in collaboration with other bodies representing the print media. The standing committee of the CPNE authorised its chief, Syed Fasieh Iqbal, to set up an action committee that would work in concert with all print media bodies, political parties and legislators to create awareness about the consequences if the bill was enacted.
Through a resolution, the CPNE resolved to defend press freedom at all costs.
Online adds: The Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Muhammad Ali Durrani, on Saturday dispelled an impression being created by certain news reports that the government was considering curbing the freedom of press by introducing Press and Publications Regularity Authority (PAPRA).
Commenting on news reports in Islamabad, Mr Durrani said: “There is no question of curbing the freedom of press as the present government firmly believes that a free and responsible, vibrant and independent media is a pre-requisite for strengthening of democracy in the country.”