November 21, 2018

Rules must be framed for cybercrime law: Shibli Faraz

ISLAMABAD: Leader of the House in the Senate Syed Shibli Faraz Wednesday emphasised the need for framing rules for cyber crime law, as presently, there are difficulties in its implementation.

He said this in response to a question by Senator Agha Shahzaib Durrani, who had asked about details of the cases registered under the cyber crime law during the last two years, indicating also the action taken so far against the persons involved in such crimes.

Shibli Faraz said cyber law was highly technical and complicated, underscoring the need for early framing of the rules, as presently the law was half-baked and common people could land in trouble. “There has to be a time-frame and a procedure and training of judges and lawyers in the related field,” he noted.

The JI Senator Mushtaq Ahmad and PTI Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak called for capacity building of the institutions in the face of cyber crime. Mushtaq Ahmed said the law-enforcement agencies need to combat cyber crime, which hit Islam and its moorings.

The House was told that from January 01, 2016 to December 2017, a total of 388 cases and FIRs were registered by the FIA Cyber Crime Wing and 350 persons were arrested; 65 were convicted and there were 45 acquittals and a fine amounting to Rs12.72 million was also imposed by the courts.

Meanwhile, talking media outside the Parliament House, Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that after reviewing the role of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and the Press Council of Pakistan (PCP), it had been decided that all media regulatory authorities would be merged into one top body, called the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority.

He explained that in coordination with media friends, the government had decided to do away with Pemra and PCP and constitute a new body, which will not only look after electronic media, but also print and cyber media (social media).

“There should be one regulatory authority to keep an eye on all mediums, and the same laws and censors should apply across the board,” he maintained.

He believed this would save the government’s resources, as all authorities would be merged into one body of professionals, including media representatives.

Fawad referred to the Supreme Court’s remarks during a case Wednesday regarding media having its own code of ethics and said it would also be taken into consideration. He claimed that a media cell had been operating from the Prime Minister House under the supervision of Maryam Nawaz, controlling allocation of government advertisements allegedly beyond the jurisdiction of the Information Ministry.

The minister said, “We merely asked about the details of the expenses and the PML-N leaders walked out. The previous government was only functioning on the basis of advertisements,” he alleged.

He pointed out that a review committee has been formed to formulate a policy for government advertisements, adding the prime minister has strictly instructed that the state’s money would not be used for personal publicity.

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