Freedom of Information Act: CPNE urges Prime Minister to develop all parties consensus -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Freedom of Information Act: CPNE urges Prime Minister to develop all parties consensus

ISLAMABAD: The Standing Committee of Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has urged Prime Minister Gilani to develop a consensus of all parliamentary parties on the Freedom of Information Act so that print and electronic media could have access to news and information.

The demand was made at a CPNE meeting held under the chairmanship of President Jameel Ather Qazi, said CPNE Secretary General Ilyas Shakir in a statement issued here Wednesday. The Committee also lauded the Prime Minister’s announcement wherein he said that his government believes in the freedom of press and recognises the media as the fourth pillar of the state. The CPNE expressed satisfaction over the statement and voiced the hope that the administration would fully implement it and avoid placing any curb on the right of expression.

The CPNE Standing Committee stressed upon the Prime Minister to develop a consensus of all the parliamentary parties on the Freedom of Information Act and later get the act passed from both houses of parliament. The meeting said that without free access to information, no institution of accountability and impeachment could play its due role.

The meeting also reviewed the situation after the CPNE’s December 30 elections and gave approval to measures being taken on the judicial front. During the meeting, the participants welcomed the intentions of the other faction of the council to rejoin the CPNE.

They lauded Balochistan Vice President Anwer Sajidiis announcement to part ways with the other group. It was said that the CPNE’s Standing Committee had rejected the President and Secretary General’s unconstitutional acts during its November 29, 2010 meeting, adding that the existing body declares all these decisions as requirement of the constitution.

The meeting declared that the number of CPNE members would remain the same as were before the November 15 meeting, saying any move to extend the numbers would never be accepted. Those who had left the CPNE and joined the other group before November 15 but now willing to rejoin unconditionally would be welcomed, the meeting decided.

On the occasion, Ilyas Shakir presented a list of names, which had been proposed for various committees of the CPNE. The standing committee has given authority to its President and Secretary general to constitute the committees within a week. A draft of constitutional amendments was also presented before the meeting. Those newspapers and magazines that are willing to become a member have been directed to send their applications to Secretary General Ilyas Shakir.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:1/13/2011