APNS calls for talks on govt-press relations
KARACHI – The executive committee of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society has regretted that despite assurances by the prime minister, the federal government has not yet initiated a dialogue process on outstanding issues relating to government-press relations , which have continued to deteriorate.
A press release issued after a meeting of the executive committee in Lahore says about two years ago, the information ministry had agreed to resolve the issue of press laws after the installation of an elected government. But the agenda for major amendments to the Freedom of Information Ordinance and the formation of a Press Council has remained in the cold storage. Further, the centralized policy of government advertisements, which has been rejected by the APNS as a tool for arm twisting of the press, has not been revised.
The committee also expressed its concern over “malpractices” by government public relations officials in Quetta. These officials, it charged, had got newspaper declaration in the name of their close relatives or dependents and were releasing government advertisements to these irregular newspapers.