While expressing serious concerns about the lack of deliberation on the ordinance issued for amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA), the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to withdraw/review the ordinance.
Amin-ul-Haque, Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunications, wrote a letter to Prime Minister in this regard.
Minister Amin-ul-Haque expressed concern that the media community is concerned and agitated over the latest amendments to the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) promulgated through an ordinance.
The amendments’ announcement drew widespread condemnation and ire from media organizations and the journalistic community as a whole.
According to them, the amendments were drafted without meaningful consultation with the relevant stakeholders.
The IT minister explained in the letter to PM, “The media is the fourth pillar of democracy and each government enjoys a unique relationship with the media. It is through the media that a government is able to project its image to the public.
By pushing forward with these amendments without consulting the relevant stakeholders, in this case, media practitioners, the government will stoke anger and resentment within the journalistic community. Media bodies and journalists have announced that they will resist these amendments at every forum.
I, therefore, urge you strongly to pay heed to the unanimous voice of protest against the PECA amendments and launch a consultative process with the civil society as well as the media community at the earliest.”
The minister stated that only through dialogue and deliberation can media practitioners and the government establish procedures to combat fake news, and he urged the Prime Minister to initiate this process as soon as possible and to withdraw/review the ordinance.
To read our blog on “In Pakistan, spreading fake news is now a non-bailable offence,” click here.