The Sindh government on Wednesday approved the establishment of a commission for the protection of journalists and other media practitioners. Sindh Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon informed in a media briefing that provincial cabinet also approved appointment of Justice (retd) Rashid A. Rizvi as the first Chairman of the Commission. The members of the commission would include Qazi Asad Abid from APNS, Dr. Jabbar Khattak from CPNE, Athar Qazi from PBA, Faheem Siddiqui from PFUJ, Ghulam Fariduddin from APNEC, Ayaz Tunio from Sindh Bar Council and Professor Tauseef Ahmed from Human Rights Commission of Pakistan as nominees of the concerned bodies. Besides, members of Sindh Assembly Shazia Umar and Syeda Marvi Faseeh would also serve as members of the commission while secretaries of Information, Home, Law and Human Rights departments of Sindh government would serve as ex-officio members. Information Minister Sharjeel Memon submitted before the Sindh cabinet draft for approval for setting up a 14-member commission under the Sindh Protection of Journalists and Other Media Practitioners Act, 2021. The act was enacted in August. 2021 with the objectives to promote, protect and effectively ensure the independence, impartiality, safety, and freedom of expression of journalists and other media practitioners. As per the act, term of the office of the chairperson is three years while non official members of the commission shall serve as nominees of representative organisation and they shall renew the term of their nominees on an annual basis. The act provided for journalists’ right to life, safety, and security; protection against disclosure of professional sources of information; independence in the performance of duties; protection from harassment, violence, and threats of violence and combating impunity. The commission is empowered to take the suo moto notice of any attack on a journalists or media practitioner while it might probe into the complaints against act of harassment, sexual harassment, violence, and threats of violence to a journalist or media practitioner. The commission may recommend to government an appropriate course of action against the perpetrators of violations and could direct immediate and expeditious investigation of the attack and to ensure speedy trial of the incident in the relevant courts. The commission would provide legal assistance to journalists and media practitioners from the Government of Sindh, besides ensuring provision of adequate insurance and training facilities to journalists and other media practitioners and develop safety policies and protocols to institute effective safety programs catering to different categories of journalists and other media professionals such as reporters, photojournalists, video camera persons and district correspondents.