Law on freedom of information: clarification -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Law on freedom of information: clarification

ISLAMABAD- A spokesman for the ministry of information has clarified that the government has not excluded the law on freedom of information from the package of media related laws being promulgated by the federal government.

The spokesman was responding to a statement by the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), president that the government was “dragging its feet from the assurances given” on the subject.

The spokesman referred to the close coordination and mutual understanding that had characterized relations between the APNS, the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) and the government during the past one-year, enabling finalization of draft laws on the registration of press and formation of the press council.

In pursuit of its belief in and commitment to the independence of media, the government has also finalized two draft laws, which are now under submission to the cabinet.

Of these, one law would enable establishment of TV and radio channels in the country in the private sector and the other enables induction of private sector professionals into the board of directors of Pakistan Television (PTV) and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC), the two state owned electronic media.

For the law on freedom of information, he said, the government remains committed to its promulgation. A detailed exercise has been conducted and the feedback has been received and analyzed, the spokesman said and added that the draft was now being finalized in the National Reconstruction Bureau (NRB) and the ministry of information was in contact with the NRB on the subject. The APNS and the CPNE, the spokesman assured, would certainly be consulted and their views would be given the consideration they deserved. The process would be completed sooner than later, the spokesman assured.

Source: Dawn
Date:12/13/2001