Govt, PBA reach consensus on e-media code of conduct

ISLAMABAD: The government and the Pakistan Broadcasters Association
(PBA) have reached consensus on all points for a code of conduct for
the electronic media and soon a summary will be sent to the prime
minister for approval.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Affairs Irfan
Siddiqui said this while taking to APP here.Siddiqui said the PBA had
played a responsible role in finalising the code of conduct draft by
attending many meetings.

Deliberations on each point and word of the code of conduct were
thoroughly made in the meetings before reaching the consensus
draft.Siddiqui said Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had
constituted a committee, comprising representatives of PBA, APNS and
CPNE, for finalising the code of conduct.

The negotiations process remained suspended due to the difference of
opinion between the two sides on some points at the initial stage. But
the Supreme Court during hearing of a writ, filed by journalists Hamid
Mir and Absar Alam, issued orders to the government and the PBA on
June 12 to sit together and complete the process for a code of

The government and the PBA resumed negotiations in the light of the
apex court directives and reached consensus after several
meetings.Replying to a question, Irfan Siddiqui said the PBA had
proposed valuable suggestions besides playing a positive role for
reaching a consensus draft for the code of conduct which has been
placed before the Supreme Court.

Both sides have some reservations about only three points which have
been sorted out.Irfan Siddiqui said the draft was ready and it would
be implemented after the approval of the prime minister.

He said the PBA and the government were still in touch because the
former had some reservations about the implementation mechanism of the
code of conduct.The Pemra and the government would address the PBA
reservations with an open heart, he said and added a fresh round of
talks could be started on the implementation mechanism after Eid.

He said the government believed in the freedom of expression and the
code of conduct was also aimed at creating a balance between the
freedom of expression and responsibility.He said several attempts were
made in the past to reach consensus on the code of conduct for the
electronic media but they failed.

Source: News

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