Government’s assurance to All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE)
ISLAMABAD- The All Pakistan Newspapers Society and the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors held a joint meeting with the ministry of information & media development.
Welcoming the healthy initiatives taken by the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), the secretary information said that the government was committed to promote and preserve the freedom of the press.
The secretary informed that every effort would be made that the Publications and Press Registration Ordinance, which is presently with the Council of Islamic Ideology, is promulgated by the end of September after the approval of the Cabinet.
He said that the provincial governments have been advised to consult the other provinces before issuing declarations so that no two publications carrying the same title could be issued declarations.
The issue of formulation of a media list by the NWFP government independent of the federal government was also discussed. The meeting was informed that the issue would be resolved during the next meeting of the information secretaries.
On the issue of Access to Information Act, the secretary assured members of APNS and CPNE that the draft law on the subject is being formulated on the principle of making available to the public and the press every information except those that needed to be withheld for, reasons of national security and legal and judicial propriety. This was in contrast with the past practice under which all information was treated as confidential and the press and the public was informed only on a need to know basis.
Both the CPNE and the APNS agreed that their member publications would restrain from publication of news highlighting and promoting sectarian organizations. The CPNE and APNS also agreed to prepare a code of conduct to be observed by the member publications in this regard.
The APNS and CPNE also agreed to ask the member publications to avoid publishing obscene reports and pictures, which violated social, cultural and religious norms. Both the organizations assured to take action against the publications found involved in blackmailing and unhealthy practices.
The meeting was attended by Arif Nizami, Mujeebur Rehman Shami, Jamil Ather and Zahid Malik of CPNE and Hameed Haroon, Kazi Asad Abid, Arshad Zuberi, Fasih Iqbal, Zia Shahid and Jabbar Khattak of APNS.