APNS elects office-bearers -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

APNS elects office-bearers

KARACHI,March 18 2005: Mir Shakil-ur-Rehman of Jang Group of Publications, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami of Daily Pakistan, Lahore, Inquilab Matri of Daily Millat Gujrati, Kazi Asad Abid of Daily Ibrat, Riaz Ahmed Mansuri of Monthly The Cricketer and Anwar Farooqui of Daily Aghaz were elected as President, Senior Vice President, Vice President, Secretary General, Joint Secretary and Finance Secretary of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) by its annual general council for 2005-06.

Earlier, the Extraordinary General Council, chaired by President Arif Nizami adopted the draft resolution to amend the Articles of Association. Later, the Annual General Council approved the report of the Executive Committee for the preceding year as well as the annual accounts of the Society.

The General Council, attended by 185 members from across the country, formed an Election Commission headed by Younus Riaz (Daily Beopar), Naseer Hashmi (Daily Ummat) and Ghulam Nabi Chandio (Daily Pak) as members. The Election Commission conducted the election to the Executive Committee for 2005-06.

FOLLOWING WERE DECLARED ELECTED UNOPPOSED:

Lahore Daily Seats (Six Seats)Daily Musawat, Daily Jang, Daily Din, Daily Nawa-i-Waqt, Daily Pakistan and Daily Business Recorder.

Rawalpindi/Islamabad Daily Seats (Two Seats)Daily Ausaf and Daily Sahafat.

Frontier Daily Seats (Two seats)Daily Mashriq and Daily Wahdat.

Sindh, excluding Daily Karachi (Two Seats)Daily Ibrat, Hyderabad and Daily Kawish, Hyderabad.

Punjab, excluding Lahore/Rawalpindi/Islamabad) (Three Seats)Daily Aftab, Multan, Daily Business Report, Faisalabad and Daily Paigham, Faisalabad.

General Seats (Metropolitan Dailies). Two SeatsDaily Kainat, Karachi and Daily Khabrain, Lahore.

Periodicals Seats (Four Seats)Monthly Naey Ufaq, Karachi, Monthly Roohani Digest, Karachi, Monthly Kiran, Karachi, Monthly The Cricketer, Karachi.

News & News Comments (Punjab/Frontier). One SeatMonthly Shahrag-e-Pakistan, Lahore.

News & News Comments (General), One SeatMonthly Fashion Collection, Karachi.

There being contest on the following seats, elections through secret ballot were held and following won the election:

Karachi Daily Seats (Six Seats)Daily Aghaz, Daily Awami Awaz, Daily Dawn, Daily Deyanat, Daily Qaumi Akhbar, and Daily Millat Gujrati.

General Seats (Regional Dailies) Two Seats Daily Kaleem, Sukkur and Daily Tijarat, Sargodha.

Balochistan Daily Seats (Two Seats)Daily Awam and Daily Balochistan Times.

News & News Comments (Sindh/Balochistan). One Seat Monthly Dastak, Karachi.

The Executive Committee also elected Qudsia K. Khan, Daily Financial Post, Karachi, on woman publishers seat.

The General Council through a special resolution nominated veteran publisher Mustafa Sadiq as permanent honorary member of the Executive Committee in recognition of his contribution for the development of the newspaper industry.

The General Council reviewed the conditions prevailing in the industry and observed that during the year under review, the relations between the press and the government deteriorated and became less cordial than in the last few years. The ministry remained consistently indifferent over the pending issues relating to the print media, especially the amendments to the Freedom of Information Ordinance and the formation of Press Council of Pakistan. It failed to focus on promotion of free and fair press in the country.

The Freedom of Information Ordinance was rejected by the APNS and the CPNE proposing wide ranging amendments to the freedom of information law. The Council noted that despite a lapse of over two years the Cabinet Division and the Information Ministry were unable to provide promised amendments to the rules.

The members observed that the Press Council Ordinance was promulgated in 2002, but no efforts have been made by the government to form the Council which suggests that the government was intentionally avoiding to proceed for the formation of the Council. The members expressed concern over passage of Defamation Amendment Bill containing certain amendments opposed by the APNS and the CPNE. The Council also pointed out that the agreement between the government and the APNS must be honoured which relate to amendments to NECOSA-73, formation of Press Council, amendments to the Freedom of Information Ordinance, cross media amendments and amendments to the Defamation Ordinance.

The General Council in another resolution reminded that Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervez Elahi had assured to advise the Punjab government to clear the dues of member publications relating to special supplements, but despite the assurances, the Punjab government has not yet cleared the dues.

Furthermore, the Punjab Information Department has also failed to release normal payments against advertisement bills and these payments were delayed for months.

The APNS General Council expressed its concern that on the pressure of journalists, the National Assembly, provincial assemblies, Federal Cabinet and the Senate had passed resolutions advocating the implementation of the 7th Wage Board Award and linkage of government advertisements with its implementation.

These resolutions were passed on a matter sub judice in the Supreme Court and the Sindh High Court, thus, the legislators and political patties involved should have refrained from commenting on the issue. The implementation of Wage Board Award was made a subject of resolutions without taking into consideration the point of view of the publishers.

The members at the Annual General Council rejected the centralisation policy of media to concentrate release of government advertisements in the hands of PID and termed it an effort to harm government-press relations. The resolution noted that the government advertisements were issued from the public exchequer and cater to the requirements of the advertisers and, hence, these advertisements should not be made subject to the whims and wishes of the Information Ministry. The APNS reiterated its stand on the proposed centralisation policy of the government advertisements and observed that through this policy, the successive governments have used advertisements as a lever to suppress and victimise the press.

Receiving public sector advertisements is a right of the national press and as such the government does not have a right to curtail or distribute them as a dole out.

Arif Nizami, Hameed Haroon, Mujeeb-ur-Rahman Shami, Zia Shahid, Syed Faseih Iqbal, Jamil Athar, Mustafa Sadiq, Mumtaz A. Tahir, Syed Sajjad Bokhari, Muhammad Aslam Kazi, Mushtaq A. Qureshi, Dr Jabber Khattak, Khushnood Ali Khan, Waqar Yousuf Azeemi, Sardar Mehtab Khan, Najmul Hasan and Kazi Asad Abid addressed the General Council.-
Source: Business Recorder
Date:3/18/2005