‘Government wants to make press freedom as guiding principle' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Government wants to make press freedom as guiding principle’

LAHORE (May 20 2008): The new coalition regime wanted to make press freedom as their guiding principle, which it considers could ensure true democracy, apart from guaranteeing good governance, accountability and democratic process in the country. This was stated by Federal Information Secretary Akram Shaheedi while addressing the mediamen here on Monday.

Principal Information Officer (PIO) G.H. Bajwa was also present on the occasion. Both Shaheedi and Bajwa were on their first introductory visit to Punjab capital where they met editors, columnists, senior journalists and a cross section of print and electronic media representatives.

Shaheedi said the new coalition regime had firm belief in the press freedom and a new law to scrub all discriminatory provisions against media was to be implemented soon. He spelled out what he termed the new and changed role of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting from a regulator to “facilitator”.

He hoped the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting would strive to adopt its defined new role and act as the “facilitator in the real sense.” He said the new dispensation in Islamabad wanted to make freedom of press as their guiding principle. Only a free media, Shaheedi said, could guarantee good governance, accountability and democratic process in the country.

He said after duly taking all stakeholders into confidence about the changes in the press laws, a bill would be tabled in the parliament soon to remove all discriminatory provision included during emergency or prior to it. He said a meeting would soon be held with all stakeholders to discuss the new code of conduct for the media to maintain the required balance.

Shaheedi, who earlier served at different important assignments, said there was no doubt that a free media was the best guarantee for the success of democratic process. Shaheedi, who has previously served in Lahore both in the Press Information Department (PID) and other PR-related assignments, said he had fond memories of Lahore city where he was educated and had served for a long period.

CPNE President Arif Nizami and Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami, welcoming the new team in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, expressed the hope for a harmonious and professional relationship of the regime with the national media.
Source: Business Recorder
Date:5/20/2008