APNS urges resumption of govt-press dialogue
KARACHI – The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) on November 2, urged the federal government for resumption of government-press dialogue on long pending issues, resolved by the APNS.
The APNS Executive Committee at a meeting in Lahore on October 30, 2004 noted that despite assurances by the prime minister, the federal government was yet to initiate dialogue process on outstanding issues, which has resulted in continued deterioration of Government-Press relations.
The committee members said about two years ago, the Ministry of Information had agreed to resolve the issue of press laws after installation of elected government, but surprisingly, the agenda for major amendments to Freedom of Information Ordinance and formation of Press Council of Pakistan remained in cold storage.
Further centralisation policy of government advertisements, which was rejected by the APNS as this has been used by successive governments including the present one, as a tool for arm-twisting of the dissenting press, which is contrary to democratic norms, needs revision.
It welcomed the observation of President Pervez Musharraf wherein he admitted that the national press was playing a positive and responsible role in matters relating to fight against terrorism.
The committee was of the considered opinion that while adjudging the role of press, a clear line should be drawn between people’s right to know and projection of outlaws
APNS member publications were not prepared to compromise on the rights of information and expression, as the people of Pakistan cannot be denied news relating to events, acts and statements taken place in the country or elsewhere. However, the national press is aware of its responsibility towards the nation that such events and persons involved in such acts should not be glamorised.
The committee expressed its concern over the malpractices adopted by DPR officials at Quetta. These officials have got declarations of newspapers in the name of their close relatives or dependents and are releasing government advertisements to these irregular newspapers thus depriving genuine publications of their due share of government ads. It urged concerned authorities to take immediate action against such corrupt officials
The members approved report of Secretary General on preparations for 17th APNS Awards ceremony to be held in the first week of December 2004 in Islamabad.
The meeting was attended by Arif Nizami, President, Syed Faseih Iqbal, Sr Vice President, Mumtaz A Tahir, Vice President, Anwar Farooqi (Daily Aghaz), Mehtab Khan (Daily Ausaf), Wasim Ahmed (Daily Awam, Quetta), Zamir A Naushahi (Daily Business Recorder), Abdul Rashid Ghazi (Daily Business Report, Fbd), Masood Hamid (Daily Dawn), Najamuddin Sheikh (Daily Deyanat), Iqbal Sidhu (Daily Din), Qudsia Khan (Daily Financial Post), Kazi Asad Abid (Daily Ibrat), Sadia Sharif (Daily Jang), Syed Sajjad Hussain Shah (Daily Kainat), Javed Mehr Shamsi (Daily Kaleem), Zia Shahid (Daily Khabrain), Aamir Mehmood (Monthly Kiran), Inquilab Matri (Daily Millat Gujrati), Syed Sajjad Bokhari (Daily Musawat), S. M. Munir Jillani (Daily Paigham), Mujeebur Rehman Shami (Daily Pakistan), Khushnood Ali Khan (Sahafat, Ibd), Riaz Ahmed Mansuri (Monthly The Cricketer), Jamil Ather (Monthly Women Times), Pir Sufaid Shah Hamdard (Wahdat) and Mustafa Sadiq (Daily Wifaq). Abid Abdullah (Daily Express), Sharif Farooq (Daily Jehad) and Adeeb Javedani (Monthly Moon Digest) attended as observers.
Source: The News