Government to preserve, strengthen Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC)
ISLAMABAD- Information Minister Javed Jabbar renewed Government’s commitment to preserve and strengthen Radio Pakistan and take the national channel into a new phase of development in step with the latest advancements.
“The recent increase in budgetary support for PBC is a practical demonstration of the importance our Government attaches to the development of the channel,” he stated at the end of first part of an informative presentation about various facets of the working of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.
Secretary Information Salim Gul Shaikh also attended the presentation made by Director General PBC Syed Anwar Mahmood. Jabbar described Radio Pakistan as a “remarkable national institution”, saying every Pakistan has a duty to preserve, protect and strengthen it. The Government, he said, is cognizant of the challenges facing the PBC and is committed to take it into a new phase of development. The Minister said, Radio Pakistan enjoys grassroots connection and has the potential to add to its revenue substantially by focusing on ads income and popularising programmes on modern themes including the Information Technology. He asked the PBC to have Lin independent survey to determine its listenership of its external services programmes.
Jabbar asked the national channel to widen its listenership in the coastal areas and in the Gulf, stating that coastal areas have acquired great significance since massive developmental projects including the construction of highways and ports are being undertaken there. Information Minister Javed Jabbar said, the Government recognizes access to information and freedom of’ expression as fundamental rights of people and is committed to a freedom of information law.
“The Government is in principle, committed to a freedom of information law, we are currently in the process of exchanging views as a debate is going on inside the Government on this,” he told a panel discussion on the freedom of information organized by the Sustainable Development Policy Institute Jabbar also told the gathering of intellectuals and journalists that the Government is committed to the establishment of an independent non-governmental Press council.
“The Press Council will only have a token representation of the Government, the-entire management and administrative control will be outside Governmental authority,” he stated. The Information Minister assured journalists and civil society representatives that the Government will try to incorporate their suggestions “as far as possible” in the draft now being debated within the Government. However, he said, the Government has not taken a decision on whether to present the draft for a public debate. Stressing that access to information and freedom of expression are two of the most precious rights of the people of Pakistan, he said, they flow naturally out of the seven point agenda of the Chief Executive. “The Seven-point agenda of the Chief Executive is a natural basis for the expression of those two fundamental rights and for taking them forward into actual law we believe that access to information flows naturally out of those seven points.
Source: The Nation