Info Ministry denies proposing law to control print media, suspends official


ISLAMABAD: The Federal Ministry for Information and Broadcasting on Monday denied that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government was planning to bring a law aimed at reining in the print media.

A notification issued by the ministry stated that it has suspended Assistant Director Saadullah Mahar and formed an enquiry committee to probe media reports about the proposed ‘Pakistan Print Media Regulatory Ordinance, 2017’. The enquiry committee is headed by External Publicity Wing Director General Shafqat Jalil.

The committee will inform the information secretary about its findings within three days, the notification reads. Until then, two senior officials of the ministry, Nasir Jamal and Tahir Hussain, have been made officers on special duty.

The notification states that neither State Minister for Information Marriyum Aurangzeb nor the information secretary issued any directives for the formation of a law to regulate print media.

However, the development sent alarm bells ringing within the journalist community who accused the government of not taking them into confidence before planning any such law.