‘Govt firmly believes in freedom of expression’

ISLAMABAD   -  Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhery Fawad Hussain has said the government firmly believes in the fundamental, democratic and constitutional right of freedom of expression. 

Talking to British High Commissioner to Pakistan Christian Turner in Islamabad, he said Pakistan, being a democratic and pluralist society has one of the most vibrant media.

He said there are one hundred and fourteen satellite television channels in Pakistan, out of which thirty-one are news and current affairs channels. He said there are 258 FM channels.

The information minister said we want to take all stakeholders on board to create consensus on the draft of Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA). He said the authority aims at ensuring a cohesive approach to media development and efficient management besides providing one window operation to media practitioners and the consumers.

He clarified that no criminal section is being included in the media development authority law.

Fawad Hussain said the convergence of media bodies under PMDA was essential to develop electronic, print, digital and emerging media platforms.

He said we want to do away with outdated laws and bring a simple single law in line with requirements of modern age.

The information minister said the new authority will focus on development, innovation, digital economy, training and research. He said the authority will have a Press Directorate, Digital Media and Film Directorate, Electronic Media Directorate, Media Complaints Commission and Media Tribunal. He hoped that British government would review its policy of retaining Pakistan on the red list. He said the government has removed several reservations of the UK on Pakistan’s Covid-19 data.

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