Karachi: The Pakistan Broadcasters Association, taking note of recent articles in various newspapers about the Journalists Protection and Welfare Bill 2011, appreciates the steps being considered by the Government to provide social benefits and protection to journalists. Pakistan is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists with 83 journalists/media workers killed since 1994 according to Committee to Protect Journalists. PBA has written to the Government many times for initiatives for protection of journalists.
At the same time PBA expresses grave concern over a controversial clause of the draft law which would require journalists to reveal their source in matters of national security importance. PBA believes that inclusion of this clause and its practical ramifications will curb freedom of the press and journalists in an environment which is already hostile towards journalists and their organisations. PBA urges the Government to ensure that all stakeholders, including PBA, are consulted on any such draft before its finalisation. PBA also believes that the bill should remain confined to its basic objectives ie welfare and protection of journalists, and should not touch the controversial and already settled matters.