Government believes in freedom of expression: Iftikhar -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Government believes in freedom of expression: Iftikhar

PESHAWAR- North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Governor Lt Gen. (R) Syed Iftikhar Hussain Shah has said that in the prevailing situation the role of the mass media has figured prominently.

He said that media is an undisputed source of opinion forming which should be used with greater responsibility without any tilt. He said, the greater the electronic and print media is impartial, the more it would be beneficial for the service and welfare of the humanity. He was optimistic that there would be no erosion to the credibility of electronic media and it would provide equal chance of expression to all who wanted exposure to the media.

He expressed these remarks during his visit to Peshawar Television Centre. General Manger Pakistan Television (PTV) Peshawar Centre briefed the governor about various programmes launched by PTV Station Peshawar.

The governor said that his government believes in freedom of expression. In the emerging situation, it has allowed opinion leaders including political elites to use this form for the expression of their views. This approach was missing even in the past democratic eras.

He said that the government would continue to allow the access of opinion leaders to express their feelings through media in future as well. He said that this would facilitate the farming of collective opinion and the government would respond to any issue in the light of the collective opinion.

He said that the government would not try to taboo even the individual’s opinion and it would be magnanimous to any opinion emerging against the government’s policies as well. However, he said that the collective opinion would stay.

He said that television was a major source of keeping the people aware of what was taking place around them and this media he said, could also be used for the reorientation of the masses and their welfare as well.

He assured that the provincial government would construct a studio in the center. On this occasion, the Governor highly appreciated various programmes initiated by PTV Peshawar which he added would go a long way as a “damage control of the credibility of this mass media”.

The governor said that he had come across with people in various parts of the province during his visits that had complained of non-existence or poor reception of various TV programmes of the province, which was a clear indication of the people trends towards this national media.

He said that NWFP was comparatively a backward area with less literacy ratio; therefore, TV could play a dominant role in raising the literacy rate as well.

He assured that the issue of establishing boosters at various parts of the province would be taken up with the Federal government for an early action.

Source: The Nation
Date:11/14/2001