Marriyum announces disbanding of PMDA

Marriyum announces disbanding of PMDA

Says PM to present relief agenda in an address to the nation in a couple of days

Newly-appointed Federal Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb has announced the abolition of the Pakistan Media Development Authority (PMDA) in all its forms.

Announcing the decision in her first media briefing after taking oath as information minister, Marriyum Aurangzeb said the media went through a bleak period during the last four years as media persons were tortured, kidnapped, attacked, and censorships and black laws were used to suppress the dissent.

The minister added that her party remained involved with the media during the past four years in its struggle against censorship. She said that many media workers were sacked from their jobs and were targeted for fulfilling their duties, and expressed solidarity with all of them. She went on to say that a society, where freedom of expression prevails, strengthens the state. “The media enables accountability of governments, thus enhancing the latter’s performance.”

She said work on the Journalist Protection Bill and Right to Information Act will be beefed up, and it will be made implementable soon. She said protection of journalists will be ensured at every cost and zero tolerance will be shown to those who try to target media persons.

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Marriyum Aurangzeb said the “The Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act, Ordinance, 2016” will be reviewed in consultation with all stakeholders.

The federal information minister observed that the people of Pakistan witnessed abuses aimed at the opposition, the media, or parliament during the tenure of the previous government. Due to this, there was a decline in discourse and the listening to arguments from the other side.

“Legislation through ordinances closed the doors of parliament while the media remained oppressed,” she said and asked for the beginning of a new era and the end to the state of chaos.

“The incumbent government is the representative of all parties and together, we will end the chaos,” she added. Aurangzeb ensured that the government won’t indulge in “bad accountability” against its rivals, saying “no innocent person would go behind bars”. She, however, made it clear that the law will take its course against those who deprived Pakistanis of due necessities.

Answering a question, Marriyum Aurangzeb said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is going to address the nation in a couple of days to present his short and medium-term agenda to provide relief to the people. 

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