Government believes in press freedom: spokesman -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Government believes in press freedom: spokesman

ISLAMABAD- A spokesman of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on August 1, 2003 reiterated the government firmly believes in freedom of expression and has taken steps for promotion of a free and fair press in Pakistan.

For more than three years it has worked to achieve the unprecedented freedom, which the press enjoys today, and there is no change in that commitment, he said.

The spokesman regretted the unfounded contention of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting is indifferent to the pending issues relating to the print media especially those relating to their suggested amendments to the Freedom of Information Ordinance and formation of Press Council of Pakistan.

Responding to the allegations, he said APNS was in complete picture of the developments taking place with regard to the amendments in the Freedom of Information Ordinance and the setting up of Press Council of Pakistan.

He added that the Freedom of Information Ordinance is not a press specific law and that is why the Cabinet Division has formulated it and not the Ministry of Information. The amendments proposed by the APNS and the CPNE in the Freedom of Information Ordinance, 2002 during the meeting with the then minister for law and the then minister for information on November 7, 2002 were discussed threadbare. They agreed to a number of sections and articles when explained by the then law minister, he added.

The spokesman also said the points to be covered under the rules have since been referred to the Cabinet Division, which is in the process of framing these rules. As far as contention of the APNS about the delay in the formation of the Press Council of Pakistan is concerned, the spokesman said the presidents of both the organisations were taken into confidence while proposing a panel of names. He said names for the council were expected to be finalised soon after which the Press Council will become functional and operative.

Source: The News
Date:8/2/2003