ISLAMABAD: More than 100 organizations and individuals have decided to boycott consultations on the government's Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020.
He also objected to the selection of an Advisory Committee that did not nominate any representative of civil society, industry and stakeholders.
The Prime Minister announced a consultation with stakeholders on the Citizen Protection (Against Online Harms) Rules 2020, due to opposition from companies in different sectors and social media plotting on cabinet-approved rules.
For this purpose, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had constituted a committee headed by Pakistan Telecommunication (PTA) Chairman Aamir Azeem Bajwa.
The committee includes Additional Secretary IT Azaz Aslam Dar, Member of the Strategic Reforms Implementation Unit of the Prime Minister's Office, Tania and Focus Person for Digital Media Dr Arslan Khalid.
In addition, Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari and Barrister Ali Zafar will also be involved in the operation.
Speak in this regard, Digital Rights Foundation, Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development, Pakistan Bar Council, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan Press Foundation, Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Internet Service Provider Association Pakistan, Freedom Network, PublicWorker Network. The party and others signed a statement.
According to the statement, the government has refused to clarify the legality of the rules, without which there would be "no genuine attempt to seek any consultation but only to reduce criticism."
The statement added that "when the Cabinet passed the rules, no formal consultation or consultation was made which shows that the government intends to use the consultation only as support as these rules are enforced and They have been prepared and approved for implementation.
The statement demanded that the cabinet withdraw from these rules and that the decision should be made public before any consultation.
In this regard, IRADA Director Aftab Alam told that the rules of station protection (Against Online Harms) have been approved by the cabinet and only their Gazette of Pakistan has yet to be published for implementation.
"We have decided to boycott the consultation because only the government representatives are present in the committee," he added.
He further said, "We fear that all social media applications will stop working in Pakistan because the Asian Internet Coalition (AIC) has said that it will be difficult to work in Pakistan and the Global Initiative (GN) I have declared them to be dangerous'.
Aftab Alam said the stakeholders' view was that the government's plan should be temporarily halted and stakeholders would not be part of any consultation.