Fawad Chaudhry says government is ready to withdraw PECA

Mar 2, 2022: According to a report by Geo News, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry announced that the government was ready to withdraw the controversial Pakistan Electronic Crimes (Amendment) Act Ordinance 2022 (PECA).

Talking to a private news channel, the Federal Minister said that in this regard, the government has handed over the mandate to the Speaker Punjab Assembly Chaudhry Pervez Elahi. “If the Media Joint Action Committee (JAC) can get its proposal approved, the government will accept the recommendations,” he said.

Earlier today, following in the footsteps of the former president of the Lahore High Court Bar, various journalists’ associations in Pakistan had also challenged the recently enacted PECA law in the Islamabad High Court. The challenged law has provoked protests from media outlets and civil society, who have called it a “draconian law.”

The federal government through the Cabinet secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication and Ministry of Law and Justice have been made parties in the plea that moves the high court to nullify the PECA ordinance.

The petitioners have maintained in the plea that Sections 2 and 3 of the presidential ordinance are contradictory to Articles 4, 9, 19, 19A and 89 of the Constitution of Pakistan which gives its citizens the right to know.

A statement by Joint action committee said that all media bodies will “take any and all legal actions to challenge any attempt to curb media’s independence and its right to raise voice against any steps to curb freedom of expression as guaranteed in the constitution.”

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