On the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said to “undertake open and broad-based consultation, the implementation of the Rules has been suspended and a consultation/review process has been initiated”. A consultation meeting with media and digital rights groups is going to hold on June 4.
Govt Initiates Consultation Process on Online Harm Rules
Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced a consultation with stakeholders after cabinet approval of the rules which attracted sharp opposition from various quarters that include the companies managing the different social media platforms.
The participants of the PTA chairman-led committee are additional secretary of IT Eazaz Aslam Dar, Digital Pakistan head Tania Aidrus, the focal person on digital media Dr Arslan Khalid, Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari and Barrister Ali Zafar.
Earlier in May, the PTA released a survey questionnaire which was designed to seek input from the public and relevant stakeholders for “refining the suspended Rules”. The questionnaire was compromised by 10 leading questions, with an option to answer “Yes” or “No”. Users were also allowed to leave comments in a text box.
According to PTA: The aim is to “protect citizens and state from ‘Online Harmful Content’ without compromising on the freedom of expression and fundamental rights granted under the Article 19 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan”
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