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Govt forms committee to hold consultations on social media regulations

ISLAMABAD: In pursuance of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s directions, a committee has been formed to start the consultation process on Citizens Protection (Against Online Harm) Rules 2020.

The committee comprises Amir Azeem Bajwa, the chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (convener), Eazaz Aslam Dar, the additional secretary of Ministry of IT and Telecom, Tania Aidrus, member of Strategic Reforms Implementation Unit, and Dr Arslan Khalid, focal person to the Prime Minister on Digital Media.

Also Read: Alice Wells’ concern over social media regulation, nonsensical: Fawad Chaudhry

The committee will undertake an extensive and broad-based consultation process with all relevant segments of civil society and technology companies about these rules. The process will be completed within two months.

Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari and Barrister Ali Zafar will also be made part of the consultations.

Also Read: Govt comes in for flak over social media laws in Senate panel meeting

Earlier, on Feb 18, Prime Minister Imran Khan had said new rules are being introduced only to protect citizens and regulate social media in the country.

Presiding over a meeting to review social media rules, PM Imran said that the new rules were not prepared to curb freedom of expression or victimise political opponents.

Read More:Social media rules meant for regulation, not curbing expression: PM Imran

He said that the United Kingdom (UK), Singapore and other countries were also introducing such laws to protect their citizens.

PM Imran Khan directed the authorities concerned to take all stakeholders on board ahead of implementing the rules.

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