APNS deplores ban on ads to newspapers
KARACHI – The APNS has strongly deplored the coercive actions of the government against the press manifested in the continued ban on government advertisements to Nawa-e-Waqt, The Nation and other newspapers, and urged the President of Pakistan to intervene in the matter.
The Executive Committee of All Pakistan Newspapers Society at its recent meeting held at Lahore under the chairmanship of its President, Arif Nizami, considered the state of deteriorating press-government relations.
The members adopted a special resolution on the issue which noted that the advertisements of federal as well as provincial governments have been completely banned for Nawa-e-Waqt and The Nation for last several months and stressed that the state of affairs is highly deplorable.
The resolution suggested that the Ministry of Information has consistently embarked on the policy of using advertisements as a lever against certain newspapers to dictate its policy which is contrary to the assurances repeatedly given by President General Pervez Musharraf.
The APNS said this policy was a backdoor attempt to browbeat the free press and traverse the vital tenets of constitution of Pakistan, the Article 19, that guarantees freedom of _expression and freedom of press. The APNS reiterated that it has always advocated deregulation and decentralisation of government advertisements as these are being used by successive governments as a tool for arm-twisting of the dissenting press.
The Executive Committee formed a committee to take up the issue with the concerned authorities and decide its line of action to get the issue resolved at the earliest.