Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Saturday said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan fully believed in the fundamental, democratic and constitutional right to freedom of expression.
Development of the media and welfare of journalists were among the government’s top priorities, he said while talking to the office-bearers of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad press clubs during a virtual meeting.
The protection of state interests should be the first and foremost priority for all, the minister stressed.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Farrukh Habib, National Press Club Islamabad President Shakeel Anjum and Secretary Anwar Raza, and presidents of Lahore and Karachi press clubs Arshad Ansari and Fazil Jamili, Principal Information Officer Sohail Ali Khan and directors general of Lahore and Karachi regional offices of Press Information Department.
The approval of Journalists Protection Bill, security of journalists, and protection and welfare of their rights came under discussion during the meeting.
The procedure for inclusion of journalists in the Prime Minister’s Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme and issues of press clubs were also discussed.
The Information Minister said the approval of the Journalists Protection Bill was a great step forward for the security of journalists, protection of their rights and welfare.
Under the bill, he said, the journalists could not not be asked about the source of news and the respective media houses would be responsible for their safety.
It had been made mandatory for the media houses to provide security equipment to the journalists and media workers sent for coverage in conflict zones, he added.
Fawad said steps had been taken to ensure payment of dues to the media houses.