ISLAMABAD:(APS) August 26, 2016- Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage has directed the M/o Information to complete consultation process with Media organizations for their input and submit a draft of the “Media Protection and Welfare Bill” by 15th October, 2016. The Committee met in the Parliament House today under the Chairmanship of Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla, MNA to discuss the implementation status of the recommendations made by “The Special Committee to investigate threats to Journalists and Media Personnel”, in its report presented in the House on 13th March, 2013.
The Committee during the course of discussion observed that the recommendation made by the Special Committee were comprehensive and needed to be implemented to ensure security and welfare of working journalists. The Director General M/o Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage apprised the Committee about the consultative process with the Media Representative Organization and Other stakeholders to draft a Media Protection and Welfare Bill. He said that process was halt due to the dissolution of PFUJ Body, however, the process would be reinitiated within a week time as PFUJ body in place subsequent to its election being held tomorrow. He assured the Committee that the Draft Bill will be brought before the Committee within stipulated timeline. He acknowledged that Media workers working in conflict zones were vulnerable and in dire need of financial security and protection. He informed about the measures initiative for the security of the Media Houses, trainings to deal with eventualities and the funds transferred to the CPNE for creation of an endowment fund.
The Committee also heard the views of Senior Media Representatives of CPNE, APNS and Media Associations. They apprised the Committee about the condition of working journalists specially performing in the conflict zones. They said that large numbers of media workers have been victims in the incidents of terrorism in the country in yester years. They stressed the need for initiation of an insurance scheme for the media workers for providing financial security to their heirs in case of any eventuality.
The meeting was attended by MNAs, Malik Shakir Bashir Awan, Mr. Muhammad Tallal Chaudry, Mr. Waseem Akhtar Shaikh, Mr. Tahir Iqbal Ch., Ms. Ghulam Bibi Bharwana,
Ms. Parveen Masood Bhatti, Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Mr. Murad Saeed, Dr. Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon, Malik Muhammad Aamir Dogar, Director General M/o Information Broadcasting and National Heritage, Representatives from CPNE, APNS, RIUJ, GEO News and other senior officers of the concerned departments.