Press law mainly for Islamabad
ISLAMABAD – Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on October 18, presented a bill to amend the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance 2002 to the National Assembly, authorizing a district magistrate to issue declarations for publications where district government was not in place.
Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain referred the bill to the Standing Committee on Law, Justice and Human Rights for further consideration.
“In the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance 2002, after the words ‘district coordination officer,’ wherever occurring, the words and commas “or, where the district government has not come into being, ‘the district magistrate’ shall be inserted,” says the bill.
“In section 44, for the word ‘government’ the words ‘federal government in consultation with the provincial governments’ shall be substituted.”
The statement of objects and reasons of the bill, to be called The Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration (Amendment) Bill 2004″, says that the amendments aim at “removing impediments by empowering the district magistrate, Islamabad, to authenticate the declaration and carry out the other ancillary job that now rests with the district coordination officers under the ordinance.”
The bill “provides a legal framework for regulating matters pertaining to the press, newspapers, news agencies, books, printing presses, etc. It also provides for the authentication of declarations of newspapers, their registration and other allied matters.”
The law was prepared in consultation with the All-Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE),” it says.
Talking to reporters in his chamber, the information minister said the bill had been tabled because there was no authority in Islamabad to issue declaration to newspapers, magazines and other publications as there was no DCO in the capital where local government elections had not yet been held.