ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan on Friday claimed that liberal media policy of the government resulted in exponential growth of newspapers, TV and radio channels in private sector.
The National Assembly was informed that government fully guaranteed right to freedom of expression and right to access to the information and it has not put any sort of ban on freedom of expression.
Responding to a question during Question Hour in the House, Ali Muhammad Khan said the government believed in free flow of information and freedom to report and did not believe in press advice and censorship.
He said the government always welcomed the objective and healthy criticism from the media. He said government expected self-regulation by the media and believed in persuasive approach to implement code of ethics and conduct.
The minister of state further informed the House that the government was in the process of finalizing Journalist Welfare and Protection Bill, 2019 to ensure safety and security of journalists and their families.
He said the government was providing financial assistance to the deceased journalists’ families in education and healthcare.
To another question, Ali Muhammad Khan said PTV had become an earning institution from a loss making institution and the state TV had earned a profit of 350 million rupees during the last fiscal year.
‘No hurdle for media and journalists’
Talking to media in Islamabad on Friday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said government believed in freedom of expression and ruled out any media gagging in the country.
She dispelled the impression that the government was creating hurdles in the way of freedom of expression.
She said Prime Minister Imran Khan had constituted a high-powered committee comprising representatives of media bodies, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, and other stakeholders to resolve issues pertaining to journalists.
The SAPM said the government was going to bridge the gap between media workers and owners of media houses.
She said the government was committed to settle issues related to outstanding dues of media houses regarding advertisements. Similarly, media houses should also clear salaries of media workers.
Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said some elements, through their social media accounts, were spreading a baseless propaganda that journalists were not allowed to perform their duty freely. She said journalists would also be invited to record their concerns and the government would certainly address them.