Give airtime to all political parties, Raja orders PTV
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Monday ordered state- owned media officials to give airtime to all political parties, including the opposition both in its news and current affairs programmes.
The PM was speaking at a presentation by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry at the PM’s House. Information and Broadcasting Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira, the information secretary and other department heads were also present.
The PPP-led government was a staunch supporter of freedom of media and had scrapped the draconian laws introduced in the past to stifle the freedom of media, the PM said.
Raja said further the freedom of media and democracy were inseparable and the government would promote the cause of free discussion and debate in the country, which was critical for the evolution of a pluralistic society.
The prime minister praised the Pakistan Television (PTV) for reaching out to maximum number of people in the country as a terrestrial channel. The success of PTV Sports Channel merited special appreciation during the presentation.
Raja directed the officials concerned to overcome the shortage of direct satellite news gathering vehicles (DSNGs) on emergent basis. The premier said that in the competitive world of media it was absolutely important to sufficiently equip the PTV with the latest technology in order to ensure live coverage of important events taking place across the country. It would enable the state-run television to focus on the issues of the people living in the rural areas, the prime minister added.
Raja ordered the Information Ministry to take immediate steps for making the Information and Broadcasting Ministry’s media university functional to impart advanced training to journalists.
He also instructed media heads of the ministry to focus on projecting the achievements of the government in various fields besides disseminating news to its viewers. Raja said the National Finance Award, constitutional amendments, identity to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, introduction of reforms in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and agricultural-friendly policy were landmark achievements of the PPP-led coalition government, which would undoubtedly have far reaching effects to strengthen the federation as well as national economy.
The PM directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority to exercise its authority against TV channels, which were broadcasting indecent and unauthorised programmes.
Earlier, while giving presentation Kaira said that there was a marked improvement in the current affairs and news programmes of the PTV, adding that his ministry was pro-actively engaged in setting the trend of news dissemination with responsibility.
The minister said that the Press Council of Pakistan under its Chairman, Shafqat Abbasi, was doing a good job because people now had access to a forum to file their complaints against the media organizations to redress their grievances.