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`No legislation to muzzle A JK press

MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed and Leader of the Opposition Raja Farooq Haider on Monday assured that no legislation was being done to muzzle the press.

Both leaders held out this assurance at the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-elected office-bearers of Capital Journalists Forum (CJF). He said a draft law on defamation would not be enacted without taking input from the journalist community.

Mr Majeed said his government was not doing any legislation to contain or curtail the freedom of press.

However, he said, everyone was equal in the eyes of the law for the purpose of maintaining check and balance.

He said the government would talk with the opposition and the media representatives on the proposed piece of law on defamation.

He also declared to activate a cell in the PM Secretariat to facilitate access to information. Mr Haider said that media must point out the wrongdoings of the people at the helm and the ills of society but their reporting should not be based on assumptions and speculations.

Mr Haider also supported the demand of the journalists that theISPR shouldupgradeitsofficeinMuzaffarabad for instant provision of information to the newsmen based here on Indian aggression along the Line of Control.

He asked the prime minister to do away with the practice of holding official meetings in Islamabad and instead should hold the same in the territory of AJK.

The swearing in ceremony was also attended by Minister for Information Syed Bazil Ali Naqvi, Prime Minister`s Adviser Mubashir Ejaz, President`s Adviser Raja Sajid Hussain, senior government officials, lawyers, political workers, representatives of traders and large number of journalists. -Staff Correspondent