APNS deplores intimidating actions against Jang Group
KARACHI: Hameed Haroon, President and Muhammad Aslam Kazi, Secretary General of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society, deplore the intimidating actions initiated by the federal and the Punjab governments against the Jang Group of Newspapers.
These actions include banning of government advertisement in varying degrees by both these governments so as to affect the financial strangulation of these newspapers. In an associated move, the governments and Pemra have Ã¬persuadedÃ® cable operators to remove Jang GroupÃs television channel, Geo News in the third confrontation between the media group and sitting governments over the last two years.
The APNS believes that such actions not only lead to a marked worsening of prospects for a productive dialogue between the government and the press but are warning signals to those interested in safeguarding the future of democracy and of a representative and responsible governance in Pakistan.
It is not only the media but all political parties inclined to a democratic dispensation that must realise that a free press is not a contestant or rival in the political sweepstake to government but a prerequisite for the functioning of democracy itself.
We in the APNS appeal to President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on the one side and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif on the other side to sit down together and thrash out an equitable solution to problems of constitution making, governance and an independent judiciary otherwise, following the tragic resignation of former journalist-turned Federal Information Minister, Sherry Rehman, the free press would become the first but certainly not the last casualty in an already tottering deadly game of power dominos in this democratic set-up.
Source: The News