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PFUJ Welcomes Govt’s Decision to Withdraw Petition Seeking PECA Restoration

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has welcomed the government decision to withdraw an FIA petition submitted in the Supreme Court of Pakistan seeking restoration of Article 20 of Pakistan Electronic Crimes Act (PECA) Amendment Ordinance-2022.

G M Jamali, President PFUJ and Secretary General Rana Muhammad Azeem maintained that the democratic government must take action against the officials responsible for creating chaos. They reiterated that freedom of expression and access to information was the foundation of democratic societies.

PFUJ Leadership, while quoting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights Relevant Provision (s) (Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers) maintained that Government’s latest moves seemed to be an excuse to augment check on free Media.

They were responding to the Saturday (7th May, 2022) announcement of Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb about the immediate withdrawal of a review petition filed by FIA.

Taking to the Twitter Marriyum Aurangzeb stated: “The Prime Minister and I learned a short while ago that FIA has filed a petition in SC against the IHC Judgement regarding PECA Act 2016 to seek restoration of section 20 of the Act.

“Please note that this petition stands withdrawn immediately, as it is squarely against the government’s stated policy and principle of standing for and ensuring freedom of expression.

“The Prime Minister has taken strict notice of the filing of this petition.Unfortunately, the news of this petition was a little late to reach us due to the fact that we were in Bisham during the day where there were no signals.”

It may recalled that earlier too PFUJ had welcomed the Fed Minister of Information and Broadcasting  Marriyum Aurangzeb’s proclamation that the Information Ministry would:

i) Ensure the rights of journalists;

ii) Peca Act would be re-examined – that had been promulgated to strangulate the Media;

iii) Freedom of expression would not be barred.

In their joint statement President PFUJ G. M. Jamali and Secretary General Rana Muhammad Azeem had stated that all the attempts to obstruct the Right to Expression in the past were successfully overpowered by the journalists’ community. By means of their unity and determination journalists had effectively challenged all the measures taken by the government to choke the Media.

PFUJ President G M Jamali and Secretary General pointed out that it was due to the PFUJ’s petition to the Islamabad High Court that the black Peca laws were declared contradictory to the Constitution of Pakistan.

PFUJ leadership expects that new government would lift ban imposed on TV Channels, Anchor Persons and Advertisements to Publications to victimize them. G M Jamali and Rana Azeem pointed out that during Corona pandemic restrictions, journalists’ fraternity had face hard times and expect that new government would take measures to ameliorate their state of life. | YouTube Channel



M M Alam

M. M. Alam is a Pakistan-based working journalist since 1981. Karachi University faculty gold medalist Alam began his career four decades ago by writing for Dawn, Pakistan’s highest circulating English daily. He has worked for region’s leading publications, global aviation periodicals including Rotors (of USA) and vetted New York Times as permanent employee of daily Express Tribune. Alam regularly covers international aviation and defense-related events including Salon Du Bourget (France), Farnborough (United Kingdom), Dubai (UAE). Alam has reported thousands of events and interviewed hundreds of people in Pakistan, UAE, EU, UK and USA. Being Francophone Alam also coordinates with a number of French publications.