The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting on Monday observed that a malicious media campaign against the parliamentary team’s Canada visit was part of the agenda to tarnish the image of parliament and Pakistan. The committee, which met here with Javeria Zafar Aaheer in the chair, observed that the negative campaign against the parliament was damaging its image in the eyes of the masses as inimical countries were using it to defame Pakistan. Javeria said baseless rumours were spread about hefty salaries being drawn by the legislators, and renovation of the Parliament House and lodges. Naz Baloch said it should be ensured that those news channels which had telecast the fake news about the NA speaker’s visit to Canada to attend the 65th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference should apologize and also air its (news) contradiction. Secretary Information and Broadcasting Shahera Shahid informed the meeting that some of the news channels had aired negative news about the NA speaker’s visit, while in the print media, only positive news about his meetings and engagements were published. The fake news, she added, was spread on the social media as well, while the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority was the regulatory authority for it (social media). She said the Digital Media Wing of the Info Ministry was responsible for the projection of government’s policies, however, it did not issue contradictions of fake news. She said the Ministry had a “fake news buster” account on Twitter, which exposed fake news, however, it was necessary for the department concerned to issue a rebuttal. Principal Information Officer Mubashir Hassan informed the committee that the print media did not publish the fake news about the NA speaker as the Press Information Department had already issued an alert to them in that regard. Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority Chairman Saleem Baig told the panel that on the directives of the committee, the Authority had issued a show cause notice to the 92 News channel for its negative coverage of the NA speaker’s Canada visit. Additional Secretary National Assembly Shamoon Hashmi said the objective was not to protect one person but a national institution which was the mother of all institutions. Javeria Aaheer said due to such malicious propaganda against the parliament, the image of Pakistan as a nation was at stake and it was imperative to take action against those who had spread the baseless news. The committee also expressed its strong reservations about the spread of fake propaganda about Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s meeting with some Israeli officials in Qatar and an old picture from India linking it to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s visit to flood-hit areas in Pakistan. It deferred the three bills namely The Motion Pictures (Amendment) Bill 2020, Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation( Amendment) Bill 2020 and The Associated Press of Pakistan Bill 2020 (all government bills) till its next meeting. The committee was informed that promotion process of the APP employees was being done in a fair and transparent manner. The meeting was attended by Memebers of the National Assembly Nafeesa Shah, Nadeem Abbas, Maiza Hameed, Zulfiqar Ali Behan, Armaghan Subhani, Kiran Imran Dar, Zeb Jafar and Naz Baloch. Besides Secretary Information and Broadcasting Shahera Shahid, Joint Secretary Arshad Muneer, PEMRA Chairman Saleem Baig, APP Managing Director Akhtar Munir, and senior officials from the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and its attached departments were also present on the occasion.