The Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting chairman on Monday suggested that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting should have a separate minister for broadcasting as the incumbent minister appeared to be overworked.
The committee also discussed the recent remarks by Federal Minister Javed Latif against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, saying that hate material should not have been aired on the Pakistan Television (PTV).
At the onset of the meeting, committee Chairman Faisal Javed expressed his annoyance at the absence of Information and Broadcasting Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb. “I suggest that the ministry is overworked. There should be a separate federal minister for broadcasting,” he said.
Later, the committee discussed the matter of Javed Latif’s remarks against former prime minister Imran Khan on the PTV on September 13. The PTV managing director clarified that it was not a speech but a news conference by the minister.
The chair observed that hate material against Imran was aired. “Hateful clips were also shown on state media. The National Action Plan (NAP) stipulates that hateful content is unacceptable,” he said.
The MD told the committee that the PTV had no role in organising the news conference. “We cannot interfere in a minister’s news conference,” he added. However, the chair said that the PTV could delayed its live feed. “You should not support hate contents.”
Committee member Irfan Siddiqui said that criticising someone’s religion and calling them non-Muslim was unacceptable. “I don’t support it. The same tradition was followed by the past governments,” he added.
Siddiqui stressed that a report on the matter should be submitted to the committee.
“I believe that a government institution should not do this,” he said.
The chair directed the relevant officials to submit a report on the matter to the committee.
The matter of attempting to stop the live telethon broadcast on channels for flood victims was also discussed in the committee.
He asked why the telethon transmission was stopped.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority chairman replied, “We have not stopped the live telethon for the flood victims at all.”
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