Media bodies reject PMDA bill

Aneela SiddiquiWeb Editor

17th Aug, 2021. 11:44 am

The proposed Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) Bill was completely rejected by a joint committee of media groups, including PBS, APNS, CPNE, PFUJ, and AEMEND, who called it an unconstitutional and harsh law against the press and speech.

Representatives of media organizations claimed in a joint statement that they had no major issues with the PMDA bill. The PMDA draft was unanimously rejected by all representatives. The government is constantly attempting to give the appearance that some members of the media are on board with this draconian campaign to silence the press.

This needs to be halted immediately.

According to the statement, all of the delegates unanimously rejected the PMDA, describing it as a step toward imposing state control over all parts of the media through an over-centralized body.

They said that bringing all sorts of media organizations under one body’s supervision indicates an authoritarian streak.

Last week, Fawad Chaudhry claims that all press clubs support the PMDA bill

Fawad Chaudhry, the Federal Information Minister, claims that all press clubs support the Pakistan Media Development Authority bill.

Fawad Chaudhry’s statement was incorrect, according to Karachi Press Club President Fazil Jamili, who stated that he did not support the bill.

On the other hand, Arshad Ansari, President of the Lahore Press Club, demanded to revoke the bill as he described the PMDA as an unconstitutional and harsh law against media freedom.

The Lahore Press Club, according to Arshad Ansari, supports the APNS, CPNE, PBA, and PFUJ on this matter.

Inside and outside Parliament, PML-N senator Irfan Siddiqui, a member of the Senate Standing Committee on Information, declared his complete opposition to the Media Authority Bill.

According to Irfan Siddiqui, this is not a bill for media development, but for media destruction. He stated that the opposition will vehemently oppose any attempts to limit media freedom.

The bill on the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) will be submitted in the National Assembly in the next ten days, according to Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting and implementation would take 45 days.

He briefed the details about the bill of PMDA by stating that the government was dedicated to welfare programs for media workers. He claimed that PEMRA used to receive money but never spent it on journalist welfare.




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