Advance security system installed at all Media Houses across the country
Addressing a press conference, Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage, Mohsin Shahnawaz Ranjha said that under this security system a "panic alert buttons" were being installed in all media houses.
He said the decision was made after having meetings with all journalists organizations, Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA).
He said several meetings were held in which strategies were evolved to implement Terms of Reference (TORs) of the implementation committee, which was constituted in pursuance of decision of Ministerial Committee on Security of Media House formed by the Prime Minister.
He said in case of any terrorist activity, attack of mob or aggression from any group or attack from miscreants, this "panic alert button" could be used to get immediate support of law enforcement agencies.
He said that a letter in this regard had been written to all media houses and 20 days time-frame was give to install this system for having proper security.
He said that on completion of this time-frame on September 29, a reminder will be issued to media houses to implement the decision.
Mohsin Ranjha said the Implementation Committee would regularly review the implementation of decisions made by the Ministerial Committee.
He said under TORs, the Implementation committee has been working to have contact with Provincial Home and Information Departments of four provinces including Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
He said the committee has been given task to remain in touch with print and electronic media bodies including CPNE, APNS, PBA, PFUJ and National Press Club to have proper security system and addressing other related matters.
He said that the Implementation Committee has decided to submit its report to the Ministerial Committee within two months with further recommendations to ensure security of media houses.
Ranjha said that Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) was working on this pilot project of software installation. He added detailed report would be sought from Provincial Information Secretaries and media houses across the country to know the status of installation process.
He said that technical support would be provided where required while Provincial Information and Home Departments would ensure assistance to all media houses in the installation of security system and for further assistance on completion of installation.
He said that this "Panic alert button" would be placed in three different places of each media houses including electronic, print and news agencies while media houses' persons would be trained to use this system in case of any emergency situation.
He added capacity building of the staff would be ensured. He said ICT police and Home Department Punjab was specifically working on the project.
He said there would be audit and monitoring system after installation of devise to know the time gained by mobile police in reaching the place of incident and other relevant matters.
He said that the committee would visi\t media houses to personally know the response of law enforcement agencies after installation of the system.
He said besides installing this system, the committee would monitor the professional capacity of private security guards deployed at media houses.
He said in this regard, it was decided that best security agencies would be short-listed having best human resource and than a national security agency would be formed with task to guide the government for providing best possible security to media houses.
The parliamentary secretary said that ICT Police would also train the security guards of provincial media houses and press clubs while the Punjab Government through Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA) would train the security guards of media houses.
He said that keeping in view the past terrorists incidents, it was decided that Provincial Secretary Information would visit press clubs and media houses in Khyber-Pakhtunkha (KP) to improve the security system.
Replying to a question, he said that the security plans for media houses would be prepared keeping in view the media houses' locations and other aspects. He added the cost of the security system would be beared by media houses from its own resources.