Journalist protection bill to be tabled soon, says Nasir Shah

KARACHI – Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah has assured to table a proposed bill in the Sindh Assembly soon for protection of journalists and media professionals.

“Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is taking self-interest in legislation for the protection of journalists. No delay will be made in tabling the Pakistan Press Foundation’s draft law in the Sindh Assembly,” he said during a meeting with a PPF delegation led by its Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali at the office of Murtaza Wahab, the Spokesman for Sindh Government and Advisor to Sindh Chief Minister here today.

Speaking on this occasion, Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that the PPP government believed in the freedom of media and was striving for the welfare of journalists. He told the delegation that all stakeholders would be consulted in Standing Committee about the bill as per rules.

Earlier, Owais Aslam Ali said that under the proposed law “Sindh Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act 2021,” an independent and autonomous commission would be established for protection of journalists. He said that Sindh had become first by passing an access to information law “Right to Information Act” pertaining to the freedom of expression. Owais hoped that Sindh government would ensure independent of media and protection of journalists by making new legislation for protection of journalists and media professionals.

It may be noted that journalists in Pakistan have to face pressures and tortures during line of their duties while people involved in crimes against journalists are moving free. According to a PPF report, 75 journalists have been killed in the country so far since 2002. In these cases, all accused, except five, are moving free.

All organizations working for freedom of expression and independence of media, including PPF, have been demanding the legislation since long time.

Link to the PPF’S Draft Protection of Journalist and Media Professionals Bill, 2020: https://www.pakistanpressfoundation.org/ppfs-draft-protection-of-journalist-and-media-professionals-bill-2020/

Newspaper: The Nation