On Thursday, the special assistant to the Prime Minister of Information, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, said the government has not yet reached a final draft of legislation on the creation of controversial media courts.
Addressing the Association of Parliamentary Reporters (PRA), Dr. Awan said that cabinet members had previously expressed reservations and told Prime Minister Imran Khan that the media were "mistreating them" and that they had asked what could be done to force the media to "act." responsibly. "
He acknowledged that "consultations" had taken place in this regard, but the government had not made any final draft for a regulatory mechanism.
"The government wants a mechanism to be formed that is independent of the government and defends the principles established in the Constitution. But [we want to do this while] sitting with the media, in partnership with them; to determine some process on which direction we want to take to this country. "
In informing the media on Tuesday, Dr. Awan had said "media courts" would be formed by passing a bill by parliament. At that time he admitted that the government had not taken all interested parties, including people from the media, media owners and media organizations, in confidence about this movement.
Dr. Awan clarified today that no decision will be made without consulting interested parties.
"There will be several proposals and drafts that will be presented to you," he said, addressing the media. "You are the interested parties. It can never happen that we impose this on you without discussing it with the interested parties."
The final draft will be presented to the media after the prime minister returns from his commitments abroad, said Dr. Awan.
The prime minister's special assistant said some people in the media had already begun to speculate that the court had been formed and that the draft was about to be announced.
She clarified that the government had "two or three [policy] options "and that all interested parties be consulted on the matter.
"The things that are imposed strongly cannot be sustained," said Dr. Awan.
During his speech, the prime minister's special assistant also urged the media to act responsibly in matters of national interest.
After the announcement of the government to establish media courts, several political leaders and human rights organizations criticized the measure.
The Pakistan Human Rights Commission (HRCP) said Wednesday that it was "deeply concerned" about the government's announcement to establish the courts, fearing they would be used to suppress freedom of expression and curb media freedoms. .