Countering fake news & protecting freedom of expression equally essential: PAT
Central PAT Secretary Information Noorullah Siddiqui has said that protecting the freedom of expression and countering the fake news through legislation is equally essential. He said that no institution including the judiciary is safe from the the ravages of fake news culture. He suggested to the government to take APNS and all journalistic bodies into confidence on PECA Amendment Ordinance. He said that the protection of the fundamental constitutional right of freedom of expression and independence of journalism and stopping their abuse are two major challenges. He said that the opposition of some political parties that suppressed media freedom during their tenures is not based on any good intention, adding that one opposition party has been repeatedly involved in the crime of compromising national interest and character assassination of their opponents and national institutions.
Noorullah Siddiqui said that that opposition is making this legislation on an important social issue controversial without any reason. He said that the government did not help its cause either by ignoring the parliament on this legislation and thus created doubts in the minds of common Pakistanis. He said that fake news is a serious matter and it is important to stop its spread through proper legislation. He said that Pakistan does it afford to allow the fake news culture to take root at a time when it is confronted with grave national security challenges.
PAT Secretary Information said that the practice of character assassination and political vendetta is very common in the politics of the country, adding that time has come to put an end to this practice. He said that the inactivation of the defamation law and the the inordinate delay in the judicial decisions on cases regarding the defamation has also promoted the culture of fake news. He said that the state institutions have been subjected to the ill effects of fake news for a long time. It is therefore important that important judicial requirement should not be lost sight of in the mutual fight between the opposition and the government. He said that the proposed amendments should be placed before parliament for debate and approval.