IT Minister Writes Letter To PM Seeking Withdrawal Of PECA Ordinance

IT Minister Writes Letter To PM Seeking Withdrawal Of PECA Ordinance
Information Technology Minister Aminul Haque has come forward against the controversial PECA Ordinance promulgated by his own government, writing a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking withdrawal of the amendments. The minister warned the PM to "pay heed to the unanimous voice of protest against the PECA amendments."

“The announcements of the amendments have drawn widespread condemnation and ire of media bodies and the journalistic community as a whole.” the minister advised the PM. “Their view is that the amendments were drafted without constructive consultation with the relevant stakeholders.”

Haque continued: “It’s only through dialogue and deliberation that media probationers and the government can establish procedures to curtail fake news, and I urge you to launch this process at the earliest and withdraw/review the ordinance.”

Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Javed Khan also told reporters on Wednesday that the amendments to the PECA ordinance "will be draconian if it will come into force as it is", adding that the law would not be applied retroactively, nor in the current case against Mohsin Baig. The AGP briefed the PM regarding the legality of the new ordinance before the premier left for his official visit to Russia.

Just days after President Asif Alvi promulgated amendments to the PECA, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) not to make any arrests under  a key provision, Section 20, of the new law, while civil society and judiciary groups across the country continue to pushback against the 'draconian' law. The government has denied claims that the ordinance is an attempt to censor the opposition or the press.