All Pakistan Newspapers Society to ask Punjab Chief Minster to reactivate
KARACHI: The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) has rejected the consistent irresponsible campaign by some elements in the electronic media to malign the APNS and the print media, said a press release of the APNS.
Masood Hamid, Secretary General of the APNS, stated that the Executive Committee of the APNS at its meeting held at Islamabad under the chairmanship of its President, Sarmad Ali, in a resolution, strongly condemned the assertion of some anchor persons of electronic media houses in the country implicating the APNS as a beneficiary of secret funds of the Ministry of Information in their petition in Supreme Court.
The Executive Committee rejecting the assertion stated that the grant of Rs5 crore for APNS House, was a special budgetary grant by the prime minister like the grants of over Rs50 crore for press clubs across the country. The grant for APNS House, was duly utilised which is evident from the magnificent building constructed at Gulistan-e-Johar, Karachi whereas the actual utilization of grants to the press clubs, is yet to be materialised.
The Executive Committee noted that the payment of Rs30 crore against the dues of government advertising was also being scandalised whereas the Ministry of Information vide its letter dated March 29, 2012 has clearly mentioned that the payment was being made to APNS on account of outstanding dues of its advertising agencies and member publications for the period July 2000 to June 2008. The APNS urged upon management’s of various electronic media houses to stop such scandalous and baseless campaigns against print media as it was by no means, a reflection of ‘Freedom of Expression’.
The Executive Committee considered the existing dispute between the Government of the Punjab and M/s Midas (Pvt) Ltd, a leading advertising agency. The Executive Committee noted that the dispute is not only reflecting upon the financial health of the media industry as a whole but is also affecting the Punjab Government’s relations with the media.
The Executive Committee therefore, decided to request the chief minister to activate the joint committee formed by him in 2009 as the issues can only be resolved at a proper forum and not through registration of cases and FIR etc. In this respect, the Executive Committee decided to request the veteran publishers and editors, Majid Nizami, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman Shami and Zia Shahid to meet with the chief minister Punjab to resolve this issue amicably.
The Executive Committee was briefed that the Sindh Government was requested to clear long outstanding dues of Rs50 crore by September 15, 2012. The Sindh Government has assured to clear a considerable part of the dues by September 30, 2012. The Executive Committee, therefore, decided to extend the last date of payment from September 15, 2012 to September 30, 2012. It further decided that if the dues were not cleared by the extended date, the Secretary General was authorized to suspend the advertisements of Sindh Government.
The committee approved the report of Punjab Committee and decided to grant associate membership to Daily ‘Nae Baat’ Lahore, Daily ‘Sadaqat’ Lahore and Daily ‘Multan Naama’, Multan.
The Executive Committee in a special resolution, condoled the sad demise of veteran advertising practitioner, Mukhtar Ahmed Azmi, his son Baaqar Azmi and Mrs Asifa Rizvi wife of the Executive Director, Dr Tanvir A. Tahir.
The meeting was attended by the following: Sarmad Ali, President, Mehtab Khan, Senior Vice President, Masood Hamid, Secretary General, Javed Mehr Shamsi, Finance Secretary, Mumtaz A. Tahir (D/Aftab), Waseem Ahmed (D/Awam, Quetta), Dr. Jabbar Khattak (D/Awami Awaz), Rahmat Ali Raazi (Weekly Azm), Humayon Tariq (D/Business Report), Fauzia Shaheen (Monthly Dastak), Najamuddin Sheikh (D/Deyanat), Kazi Asad Abid (D/Ibrat), Imtiaz Malik (D/Kainat), Aslam Leghari (D/Kawish), Aamer Mahmood (Monthly Kiran), Mian Akbar Ali (D/Khabrain), Ayaz Badshah (D/Mashriq Peshawar), Bilal Mehmood (D/Nawa-i-Waqt), Mushtaq A. Qureshi (M/Naey Ufaq), Sardar Khan Niazi (M/Naya Rukh), Munir Jilani (D/Paigham), Umer Shami (D/Pakistan, Lhr), Gohar Zahid Malik (D/Pakistan Observer), Ilyas Shakir (D/Qaumi Akhbar), Khushnood Ali Khan (D/Sahafat), Riaz Ahmed Mansuri (M/The Cricketer), Jamil Ather (D/Tijarat, Lahore) and Pir Sufaid Shah Hamdard (D/Wahdat). Mohsin Bilal (D/Ausaf) and Aijaz-ul-Haq (D/Express) attended meeting as special observers.