KARACHI: After more than 100 organizations and individuals boycotted talks with the government on Citizen Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020, officials clarified that the implementation of those rules had already been suspended.
It is to be noted that groups working for rights issued a statement saying that the government has refused to clarify the legality of the rules, without which 'no genuine attempt to seek any consultation opinion but merely to reduce criticism'. Will be the strategy to remove '.
In this regard, when contacted by Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) chairman Amir Azim Bajwa to explain the current status of the rules, he said, "The rules are expected to be amended at the end of the consultation process. The implementation of the (current) rules has been suspended. '
The Prime Minister announced the consultation with stakeholders on the previous cabinet's rules, as they opposed various departments and social media plotting companies.
After which, on February 29, a memo document of the rules, which was labelled as being published in the Official Gazette, was removed from the Information Technology and Communication website.
On the other hand, despite the boycott of organizations and individuals working for the rights, the first meeting of the committee headed by the PTA chairman to consult with stakeholders on the Prime Minister's instructions from the Ministry of IT.
The committee includes Additional Secretary IT Izaz Aslam Dar, Head of Digital Pakistan Tania and Focal Person for Digital Media Dr Arslan Khalid.
In addition, Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari and Barrister Ali Zafar are also expected to participate in the operation.
According to the press release issued after the meeting, the committee immediately decided 'wide-ranging and open consultation process with civil society, human and digital rights organizations, social media platforms to express concerns from various forums. Request for constructive feedback to remove '.
The PTA said that a questionnaire and a consultation table of all stakeholders would be released on the official website for the feedback of all stakeholders.
In this regard, the Prime Minister's Focal Person for Digital Media Arslan Khalid said that all the action would be comprehensive and transparent.
He said that these rules have not yet been implemented;