Editors assured of solution to issue
ISLAMABAD- Interior Minister Lt-Gen (retd) Moinuddin Haider has assured the editors of Rawalpindi and Islamabad that he will take up the issue of lifting of ban on daily Dopehar, Islamabad, with the authorities concerned.
The minister gave this assurance to a delegation of the editors who, led by Zahid Malik, Secretary General of the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE), called on him to condole the death of his brother in Karachi.
The minister on this occasion urged the press to extend full support to the government, which he said, was determined to address some of the crucial issues the country was facing.
The editors expressed the fear that with continuous absence of press laws and the press council, the draft of which was mutually agreed upon between CPNE and All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and the Ministry of Information, there was no platform at present to deal with the press related complaints.
“Early promulgation of press laws will enable the press to perform its functions in a better manner,” they said.
Those who called on the minister were: M. Ziauddin, daily Dawn; Rana Tahir Mahmood, daily Jang, Ghulam Akbar, daily Al-Akhbar; Hamid Mir, daily Ausaf; Tahir Khan, daily Khabrain; Sheikh Iftikhar Adil, daily Asass, and Ashraf Nadeem, Executive Director of CPNE.
Earlier, at a meeting, the newspaper editors, while condemning the arbitrary ban on the daily Dopehar demanded of the Islamabad Administration to lift the ban within 48 hours, failing which the editors would resort to staging protests in every possible manner.
The demand was made through a resolution adopted at the meeting of the Islamabad/Rawalpindi-based editors who met here at the CPNE Secretariat under the chairmanship of secretary-general of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), Zahid Malik.
They expressed their confidence in the press policy of the government of President Musharraf who was committed to the freedom of the press, but said such anti press actions by some of its adventurous functionaries negated the declared and professed policy of the government.
The meeting expressed the view that the ban on the newspaper on flimsy and ridiculous grounds was condemnable but what was more abhorring was the Gestapo type operation carried out by the Islamabad police during which women members and the chief editor of Dopehar were harassed.
The editors expressed their fear that the action against daily Dopehar was an alarming signal to the entire press industry.
The meeting decided that if the ban were not lifted within the stipulated period of 48 hours, a joint editorial condemning the Islamabad Administration’s arbitrary action would be published in all newspapers.
However, Mr. Malik informed the meeting that Information Secretary Anwar Mahmood had telephonically assured him of taking up the matter with the Islamabad Administration to lift the ban at the earliest.