APNS deplores govt action against press -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

APNS deplores govt action against press

KARACHI – Syed Faseih Iqbal, Acting President and Chairman, APNS Action Committee, 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 upon the president and the prime minister of Pakistan to intervene in the matter, said an APNS spokesman.

Syed Faseih Iqbal has noted that the government action to ban ads to the major group of publications for the last several months has badly affected the press-government relations. This state of affairs suggests 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.

This policy was a back door attempt to browbeat the free press and traverse the vital tenet of the Constitution of Pakistan, the Article 19, that guarantees freedom of expression and freedom of press. He reiterated that the APNS has always advocated deregulation and decentralisation of the government advertisements, as these are being used by the successive governments as a tool for arm twisting of the dissenting press.

Syed Faseih Iqbal has requested the president of Pakistan to intervene in the matter and direct the government of Pakistan to sort out the issue amicably, as the continued ban on the government advertisements to daily Nawa-e-Waqt and The Nation is badly reflecting upon the press-government relations as well as the track record of the government on the press freedom.

The acting president APNS has also appealed to Prime Minister Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain to use his good offices and facilitate initiating a meaningful dialogue with the APNS for the long-pending settlement of the issue which would help in smoothening the press-government relations.
Source: The News
Date:7/28/2004