Government to announce four media laws by Eid: Anwar
LAHORE- The Government of Pakistan will breathe a new life into the Repealed Press and Publication Ordinance (RPPO) by announcing a new set of equivalent press laws as “Eid gift’ to make its abiding commitment of the free press in Pakistan fulfilled.
Federal Secretary Ministry of Information and Media Development Anwar Mahmood disclosed this here while discussing the issue of press laws with top-of-the-line journalists led by President Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) Mujeebur Rehman Shami at the hosting of Iftar dinner for the media corps of the city.
The chief editors, editors, columnists, reporters and officers in the public relation wings of various departments, attended the Iftar.
Discussing the draconian General Ayub era Press and Publication Ordinance (PPO), Anwar agreed with the CPNE president that no media regulatory law is in existence at the moment. However, he disclosed that the government had been working on the promulgation of four media-related laws, which include a) law to regulate electronic media covering all facets of the recently emerging TV satellite channels and cable networks, b) rules for a self-regulatory “Press Council” to work and implement a code of ethics for the media in consultation with CPNE, c) a law in place of expired RPPO, ensuring a lasting freedom of the press, and d) rules for the autonomous functioning of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.
The federal secretary said that all the four laws would be announced by the end of Ramazan as “Eid Gift” for the national and local media corps.
Earlier, the CPNE president pointed out that the office of the district magistrate already stood abolished and there was practically nobody to accord a press declaration.
He said that the PPO was repealed during former Prime Minister Mohammad Khan Junejo’s period and an RPPO was enacted which was deliberately allowed to lapse. Its spirit, though, has outlived and the press, which remained most of the period of the country’s history in chains, has never looked back and shunned its freedom. It has been functioning in void, though.
The four new laws will herald a new era of the press and government relationship for better coordination and working for the times to come.
Source: The News