Islamabad: Federal cabinet withholds formal approval of a draft bill drafted by the Human Rights Ministry to protect journalists.
The purpose of the bill is 'to promote the freedom of expression, protection, freedom, neutrality of journalists and media professionals and effectively.'
However, the cabinet approved the principle of 'integrating' this bill with the first information bills prepared by the Ministry of Information and sending them the Ministry of Law to make necessary changes and form a single bill.
Senior editors and media experts who look at the draft bill say it is one of the most detailed legislation to ensure the safety and security of journalists.
However, after combining the 2 bills, the Ministry of Law will finalize it, which may delay its becoming law.
After the approval of the cabinet, the draft bill will be sent to parliament, where after passing it will become law with the formal permission of the president.
Speaking in this regard, Prime Minister's Assistant Special Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan acknowledged that it would still take time for journalists to provide the necessary security against harassment, abduction, threats and torture.
The draft report of the Ministry of Information is comprised mostly of stakeholders and the Ministry of Interior, Finance and Health, while the draft is prepared by the Ministry of Human Rights, which promotes international law and the conventions that Pakistan has signed. References are included.
The bill was created in the last two decades against a series of killings, kidnappings, torture of dozens of journalists, which is an attempt to end the tradition of exoneration of crimes against journalists in the country.
Regarding this, journalists unions say 70 journalists have been killed during the course of their duties, but so far only 3 cases have been resolved, but all the culprits are escaped.
With the killings, there are almost daily threats and intimidation to prevent journalists from performing their professional duties of communicating information to the public.
On the other hand, government sources told Dawn, detailing the draft information, that at the beginning of the bill it was stated that "Article 9 of the Constitution guarantees the right to life and personal security of every journalist and media professionals." And that no such person should be subjected to abusive behaviour. '
It is important to note that both bills have suggested setting up an independent commission for journalists and media professionals, headed by a retired Supreme Court judge or someone who has specialized knowledge and practical experience in law, justice and human rights matters. You have
The proposed law will ensure protection against 'forced or voluntary disappearance, kidnapping, imprisonment or other methods of repression' and provide professional responsibilities to journalists without fear of threat, harassment or attack in conflict areas in the country.
In addition, the Ministry of Human Rights and Information and Broadcasting recommends training journalists with health and safety protocols to ensure journalists' well-being and safety and security in working in a hostile and hostile environment.