National Assembly body for boycott of media that highlights anti-Pak material
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Tuesday asked the nation to boycott those media houses which highlighted anti-Pakistan and anti Two-Nation theory material.
Belum Hasnain, the chairperson, requested TV viewers and newspaper readers to boycott those media houses which give coverage to statements of persons who spoke against the country and the Two-Nation theory. She said anti-Pakistan propaganda could not be tolerated and those newspapers and TV channels could be forced to avoid this tendency through boycott.
Bushra Rehman said nowhere in the world, media gave converge to such people who spoke against the nation. “Even in the US, the media does not give space to those who talk of dismembering the union, but unfortunately in Pakistan news reports against the national interest are carried by some media outlets, but no action is taken against them,” she added.
Press Council of Pakistan chairman Raja Shafqat Abbasi said all over the world no newspaper or channel published or telecast material against national interests. Clarifying a remark by an MNA about secret fund, Information Secretary Rashid Ahmed said his ministry did not spend even a penny which was not approved in the Finance Bill.
About providing security to media professionals, he said primarily media owners were responsible for the security of their staff during performance of duty. “However, the federal government remains in touch with provincial governments over provision of security to media persons as basically it is a provincial matter,” he added.
Abbasi said if a journalist became a victim in a robbery in some city of a province, his ministry could not directly help him. “It can only write to the provincial government to take an appropriate action,” he added. He said his ministry provided financial assistance to the widows of several journalists and bore expenses of journalists injured during the performance of duty.
Pir Aftab Jilani appreciated the performance of the PCP and hoped that it would succeed in creating a consensus over implementation of the code of conduct in the near future. Shafqat Abbasi said the PCP had written letters to the departments concerned where journalists had come under attack.
PML-N MNAs Shirin Arshad and Shakil Awan expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of PCP, saying it had failed to take any concrete steps for providing security to journalists.
Earlier, the PCP chairman said the PCP, as an autonomous and independent apex body, monitored good standards of media practices. He said the main ambit of the council included to receive complaints about the violation of Ethical Code of Practice relating to newspapers, news agencies, editors and journalists.
“Revision, update, enforcement and implementation of the Ethical Code of Practice for the newspapers, news agencies, editors, journalists and publishers as laid down in the schedule to this ordinance is also included in the council’s ambit,” he added.
The meeting was attended by MNAs Pir Aftab Jilani, Syed Amir Ali Shah, Mehboobullah Jan, Samina Mushtaq, Shamshad Sattar Bachani, Shakil Awan, Bushra Rehman, Istaqbal Khan and Shirin Arshad.