Women legislators promise support to bill on protection of journalists

PESHAWAR: Women Parliamentary Caucus of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday assured the mediapersons’ bodies of its full support in getting the bill on protection of journalists passed from the provincial legislature.

The women legislators made the assurance during a meeting with members of the Pakistan Journalists Safety Coalition’s (PJSC) KP chapter, according to a statement.

Chaired by Dr Sumera Shams, the meeting was also attended by Riffat Sardar, chairperson of KP Commission on Status of Women, Iqbal Khattak, executive director of national media watchdog, Freedom Network, media laws expert Mohammad Aftab Alam, Nasir Hussain, president of Khyber Union of Journalists, Saiful Islam Saifi, PJSC-KP chairperson, and journalist Farzana Ali.

“The Women Parliamentary Caucus takes up issues concerning human rights, and protection of journalists is equally important for us,” Dr Shams told the meeting. She said the caucus would take up the matter in its forthcoming meeting for deliberation.

Iqbal Khattak briefed the meeting on why Pakistan needed this law as incidence of impunity for crimes against journalists was high in the country. He said PJSC, which represented broad-based stakeholders, was working on legal framework to provide protection to journalists. He said Pakistan had become the first Asian country to have passed special law on protection of journalists. He hoped that similar law would also be passed by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.

Aftab Alam shared salient features of the draft protection law underlining famous three “Ps” Prevention, Protection and Prosecution.

The meeting also passed a resolution, declaring complete support for bringing a special legislation to end impunity for crimes against journalists and media in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province at the earliest.


Source: Dawn

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