Federal Minister for information and Broadcasting, Fawad Chaudhry took to Twitter and said, “Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa, while addressing the Defence Day function, said fake news and disinformation were a threat to national security.”
Fawad wrote, “This analysis is based on the truth, and therefore the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) is being brought to deal with these threats, as yellow journalism happens to be the biggest threat to freedom of media.”
Representatives of media organisations rejected the proposed PMDA and termed the concept as an unconstitutional and draconian law against the freedom of press and expression and a step toward imposing state control to regulate all segments of media under over-centralised body.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) in a statement said that as part of its crackdown on freedom of expression, the government of Pakistan is seeking broad new powers in the garb of the proposed PMDA.
Information Minister faced a hard time as members of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting demanded to see the draft law of PMDA.
Spokesperson of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Marriyum Aurangzeb, demanded that the draft of the law should be presented for the establishment of the authority instead of a verbal briefing by the minister.
Adding to her point, Aurangzeb said, “The attitude of the information minister was dictatorial.”
However, Fawad Chaudhry said that some people did not want to have any regulations in the media industry, adding that Pakistan cannot turn a blind eye to conspiracies being formulated against it.