As criticism continued to mount against the proposed Prevention of Electronic Crimes Bill 2015, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication has decided to hold a public hearing on the matter next week.
Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) MNA and member of the committee Syed Ali Raza Abidi told The Express Tribune that the standing committee’s chairperson Captain (retd) Muhammad Safdar communicated to him about the decision.
A senior official at Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said the decision has been taken in the wake of massive criticism, including from information technology experts and the general public, over the draft bill.
Abidi said that he had invited the committee and its chairman to hold the public hearing in Karachi, since many people affiliated with the IT industry work there. However, Capt Safdar excused himself, citing personal reasons. The hearing will now be held in Islamabad. “I will be flying to Islamabad to attend the meeting.”
Meanwhile, Capt. Safdar’s office confirmed that the hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday.
Later, Abidi on the mini-blogging website Twitter confirmed that the committee’s chairman had agreed to hold a public hearing on the proposed Cyber Crime Bill on Tuesday.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2015.