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Fawad Chaudhry Says Bill Curbing Media Freedom ‘Public Interest Requirement’

Minister for Science and Technology Chaudhry Fawad Hussain has justified government’s recent move to control digital media saying that regulating social media is a public interest requirement. He said registration of digital media platforms is very imperative to bring them under country’s economic laws framework.

The minister tweeted the statement, while responding to Lawyer Reema Omer’s tweet of criticising the Citizen Protection Rules Against Online Harms saying, that legislation and policy-making must be exercised in public interest, terming the rules ‘unconstitutional’.

While responding to Reema’s tweet, Fawad Chaudhry has further said that she had never criticised USA and UK for actually “more stringent” regulations, to which Reema Omer replied to Fawad’s tweet saying, that neither USA nor UK have more stringent rules. She reminded the minister that activists critical of the government are charged with sedition, and that the new law can be misused.

Recently, federal cabinet had approved a bill called Citizen Protection Rules Against Online Harms, aimed at ‘countering online crimes and hate speech’ but digital rights activists and social media users are of the opinion that it is a move to crush dissent and critical voices on social media.

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