All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) to continue Wage Board boycott -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) to continue Wage Board boycott

KARACHI- The Executive Committee of the APNS has expressed its concerns over the crisis of communication between the govemment and the APNS resultant over the attitude and conduct of Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Labour which are pursuing a nefarious policy to create a rift between the employers and employees of the newspaper industry, stated a Press release of the APNS.

Mr Arshad A, Zuberi, Secretary General of the APNS announcing the resolution adopted at the meeting of the Executive Committee in Karachi under the Chairmanship of Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman stated that the ministry of Information and the Ministry of Labour were apparently employing the policy of previous regimes to pitch the newspaper employees against the publishers and tighten the financial shackles around the Press to make the newspapers dependent on the governments whims and wishes.

The Executive Committee noted that the Ministry of Information has deliberately showed its indifference on the procedural terms and conditions put forth by the APNS in April 2000 for the smooth working of the 7th Wage Board. Further, it failed to seriously take up the observations of the APNS on the Wage Board as expressed to the Minister for Information during its meetings on August 12, and August 16, 2000. Instead the Ministry advised the APNS to place its observations on the formation of Wage Board before the Wage Board itself.

The approach of the Labour Minister expressed in his various utterances at different Press Club meetiings is highly objectionable and appears as partisan. The members of the Executive Committee also noted that the remarks and actions of the Chairman Wage Board were also unsuitable to his office.

The learned Chairman deemed it appropriate to set aside the APNS request for putting off the meeting of the Wage Board for one month and held the meeting without the participation of the APNS nominees. The Executive Committee has therefore, decided to continue its boycott of the Wage Board till such time that the APNS observations are considered and addressed.

The Executive Committee of the APNS formed a high powered Committee under Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman to devise a three pronged strategy on the basis of suggestion made in the Committee to get its objectives realised. The Executive Committee further decided to launch a public awareness campaign to educate the masses on the performance of the present set-up with special reference to the newspaper industry.

The Executive Committee deplored the release of Draft information Act to the Press without consulting the APNS and soliciting its views on the draft, which is a clear breach of trust on the part of the Information Ministry. The APNS recalled that in the meeting of July 22, 2000 the Ministry had assured the APNS that the drafts on Information Act and the RPPO would be sent to the APNS within 10 days, the assurance never niaterialised. However the APNS decided to publish its opinion on the draft in newspaper at the earliest.

The Executive Committee considered requests for confirmation of accreditation and decided to get full accreditation to M/s Advertisement & Documentaries Syndicate Islamabad, M/s Channel 7 Communications, Islamabad, and M/s Thought Advertising and Data Source Services, Islamabad.

The meeting was attended by the following:

Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman, President (Jang Lahore), Zia Shahid, Vice-President, (Khabrain, Labore), Arshad A. Zuberi, Secretary-General, (Business Recorder), Waqar Yousuf Azeemi, Joint Secretary, (Rohani Digest, Karachi), Mohammad Aslam Kazi, Finance Secretary, (Kawish, Hyderabad), Dr Jabbar Khattak, (Awami Awaz, Karachi), Anweer Farooqi, (Aghaz, Karachi), Waseeni Ahmed, (Awam, Quetta), Syed Fasih lqbal, (Balochistan Times, Quetta), Abdul Rashid Ghazi (Business Report, Faisalabad)

Hameed Haroon (Dawn, Karachi), Kazi Asad Abid (Ibrat Magazine, Hyderabad), Javed Mebr Shamsi (Kaleem, Sukkur), Aamir Mahmood, (Kiran, Karachi), Mushtaq A. Qureshi, (Naye Ufaq), Arif Nizami, (Nawai-Waqt, Lahore), Mujibur Rehman Shami (Pakistan, Lahore), Dost Ati Bhatti (Paigham-e-Sindh, Mirpurkhas), Riaz A. Mansuri, (The Cricketers, Karachi), Mrs Masudah M. Ahmed, (The Teenager, Karachi), Altaf Hassan Qureshi (Urdu Digest, Lahore), Pir Sufaid Shah Hamdard, (Wehdat, Peshawar) and Mustafa Sadiq (Wifaq, Lahore).

Source: The Nation