Jabbar terms Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), APNS reaction misunderstanding
ISLAMABAD- Information Minister Javed Jabbar has stated that the government respects the opinion and role of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) and the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) but their reported reaction to the draft law on Freedom of Information appears to be based on a misunderstanding.”
In an exclusive interview the minister said the reported opinion of CPNE/APNS on the draft ordinance on Freedom of Information appeared to be a misunderstanding of the intentions of the government.
He said: “The government respect the opinion and the role of the two bodies as the representatives of the editors and publishers in the context of the proposed law on the freedom of information.”
“By circulating the draft, the government did not intend to bypass or devalue the broad agreement with the CPNE/APNS that the proposed laws – a whole package of proposed laws – will be promulgated to create a Press Council to enact a new Press law and to enact the Freedom of Information law” he said.
However, Jabbar explained the first two of the three laws are exclusively concerned with the Press in a professional sense and the third law, namely that relating to Freedom of Information, has a comprehensive relevance to virtually all segments of society, including the Press, to whom the government has provided the draft fop eliciting public opinion, as the laws are not exclusive to the Press.
Jabbar said: “One expects the CPNE to welcome the opportunity to make its own comments on the draft and also welcome the opportunity given to all segments of society to contribute their views. There is an incorrect assumption contained in the CPNE comment. The CPNE has assumed that the Ordinance on Freedom of Information promulgated by the 1996-97 caretaker government was the same as the one proposed earlier by then Law Minister Fakhruddin Ibrahim. The actual position is that while the caretaker government appreciated the version provided by the then law minister (who resigned during the tenure of the caretaker government), the final version of the Ordinance promulgated as a law was not by any single individual or official,” the minister maintained.
The information minister declared: “I look forward to the valued comments of the CPNE and APNS and other representative bodies of the Press and civil society so that a study of possible improvements and amendments can be made when the cabinet considers the finalization of the text.
Source: The News