‘Geo Asool’ has vital points for accountability, says UK HC
KARACHI: ‘Geo Asool’, the code of ethics Geo TV Network has framed for itself is being widely acclaimed across the country and the initiative has also been appreciated by important foreign personalities. After going through the manuscript of ‘Geo Asool’, leaders of political parties as well as of public opinion from all walks of life have given their reaction to this document. British High Commissioner in Pakistan Adam Thomson said, “This is a very good step and I salute those who are working for a better media which plays an important part in the lives of common man and as such it is very important that people should have feelings of respect for it. The articles in ‘Geo Asool’ pertaining to authenticity of news and accountability are of utmost importance.” Governor Punjab Latif Khosa said that it was a good effort of Geo and it had comprehensive articles. Raja Zafarul Haq, Chairman PML-N commented, “This can be called a big attempt towards self-discipline and in my view other channels should emulate Geo in this regard. Rather politicians too should have a code of ethics for themselves too.”
Samsam Ali Bukhari, Minister of State for Information said, “Geo should observe the principles it has laid down and other channels should learn a lesson from them.” Former secretary general of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ)Mazhar Abbas has welcomed ‘Geo Asool,’ the code of ethics formedia as ‘a very serious effort of 110 extremely intelligent personalities of Pakistani media.’ He appealed all the stakeholders in media that before adopting this code, they should initiate a healthy discussion on ‘Geo Asool’ for a consensus. In a statement Mazhar Abbas said that he had gone through the contents of ‘Geo Asool’ and in the current crazy media race he had found it appropriate and practicable. He said that if it were implemented in true spirit, it could guide media in Pakistan in the right direction.
He said that it should not be limited only to electronic media but should also be applicable to print and other media. The former secretary general of PFUJ requested the Geo administration to forward a copy of ‘Geo Asool’ to Pakistan Broadcasting Association (PBC) in order to evolve a consensus among the stakeholders. I A Rehman, General Secretary Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) was of the view that it was a good step and provided what the nation demanded. As media was a powerful and potent force capable of influencing and moulding the wavering public opinion, therefore, a code of ethics was inevitable for it. He said that in his view that code of ethics was the best for the institutions which made for themselves. He said that he was not very much in favour of a code of ethics imposed by the government. MQM Senator Tahir Mashadi said that this code of ethics should also be followed by other channels. He said that all willingly follow the code made jointly by them. Any code imposed from above could raise many objections and doubts. Member Pakistan Bar Council Mohammad Ahsan Bhoon said that the code of ethics framed by Geo if implemented could go a long way in creation of a healthy society. Senior jurist Aftab Ahmad Bajwa welcomed ‘Geo Asool’ as a newprogramme thatwould transformthe society and creates awareness. Vice Chairman Punjab Bar Council Ghulam Abbas was of the view that Geo had framed excellent rules. Former Punjab law minister Rana Ijaz Ahmad Khan congratulated those who conceived the idea of ‘Geo Asool’ as they could lead the nation in the right direction. Senior journalist Hussain Naqi said that tolerance and freedom of expression of divergent views were the things that impressed himmost in ‘Geo Asool’. The self-accountability was the noble idea, Naqi said. PPP MNA Noor Alam Khan was of the view that Geo had set a good example and expressed hope that other media houses would also follow these principles and this would bring good results. ANPMNA Bushra Gohar also welcomed the code of ethics for media and said that this should also be implemented. She opined that others too should be associated with the work being done by Geo so that a unanimous code of ethics might come into existence.