ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: President Dr. Arif Alvi on Wednesday gave his assent to the “Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act 2021” in a Ceremony held at Aiwan-e-Sadr in Islamabad.
After the signatures, the bill has now become an act of the Parliament.
The articles of the long-awaited bill safeguard the rights of journalists and media professionals including rights of security, privacy, and protection.
In his address at the Signing Ceremony, President Arif Alvi expressed his pleasure over the consensus developed on this important piece of legislation.
Dr. Arif Alvi said that given the threats faced by the media professionals, the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act 2021 provides for their right to life and protection against ill-treatment.
The president said other salient features of the act include the right to privacy and source non-disclosure and the establishment of an independent media commission.
Voice, his concerns over the fake news, President Arif Alvi said that whilst society has a responsibility to demonstrate tolerance towards the journalists who are out to perform their duties, it is also for the journalists to act in a responsible manner and present the stories in the right context.
In her remarks on the occasion, the Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari said that the act is extremely progressive and prepared after hectic consultations with all the stakeholders.
Shireen Mazari said that the act defines the media professionals and envisages journalist welfare schemes. It is now the legal obligation of the media owners to provide insurance and training to the media professionals.
The minister said that women have also been given representation in the Commission to be formed under the Protection of Journalists and Media Professionals Act 2021 to address the complaints of the journalists community.
Today our journalist and media professionals bill was signed into law by the President. A commitment fulfilled. Thank u @ImranKhanPTI and thank u to all those who helped in the drafting and passage of this very important human rights legislation.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) December 1, 2021
In his remarks, the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said that the said legislation is a leap forward to provide rights to our journalists available to the community in the first world.
The information minister said that the government is standing by the working journalists and the act provides employment protection to them.