Present govt does not believe in restrictions on media freedom, controversial PMDA abolished: Marriyum

ISLAMABAD, Apr 27 (Alliance News): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Wednesday that the present democratic dispensation strongly believed in freedom of expression and unlike the past four years, no news
channel would be off-aired, no talk show or programme would be banned
and no newspaper would be closed during its tenure.

The minister was speaking in the Senate Standing Committee on
Information and Broadcasting meeting chaired by Senator Faisal Javed.

She said that the coalition government did not believe in any
restrictions on freedom of expression and after coming to power, the
government abolished the controversial plan to set up the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority.

The minister said that there was a need for practical steps to
eradicate fake news which had become a challenge all over the world.

She said that consultations were being held with all stakeholders to
create a consensus on how to handle this challenge.

The minister said that fake news was spread regarding Prime Minister
Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Saudi Arabia and his entourage.

She said that since the past over ten years when Shehbaz Sharif was
Punjab Chief Minister, he always bore the expenses of all his
foreign trips.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Saudi Arabia would also be
at personal expense,and those accompanying the Prime Minister would
also bear their personal expenses.

She said that it was a standard practice that whenever a Prime
Minister left the country, the Foreign Office wrote a letter to the
PIA to keep a plane for standby.

The minister said that this practice had been followed even under
former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

She said she had also clarified in her press conference yesterday
that during Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s visit to Saudi Arabia
everyone accompanying him would bear their own expenses.

She maintained that the number of the PM’s delegation would be much
less than all previous visits. “The Prime Minister’s delegation will
consist of only 13 members,” Maryam Aurangzeb said.

During the briefing to the committee on the “Digital Radio
Migration” project, she said that over time, modern technology was
indispensable in institutions.

Earlier the Standing Committee congratulated Marriyum Aurangzeb on
assuming the charge of Federal Minister for Information and
Broadcasting.

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