Govt-media ties good: Aziz
ISLAMABAD, Sept 6: Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz on Thursday dispelled the impression that relationship between the government and media had soured after recent incidents.
He was talking to media personnel after laying the foundation stone for the National Press Club in the federal capital. The ceremony was held at the Prime Minister secretariat for security reasons.
Mr Aziz said that at times media did ‘cross the line’ but the government “shows tolerance and understanding”.
The National Press Club will be built in the city’s F-6/1 sector at an estimated cost of Rs170 million.
Mr Aziz said the government had given unprecedented freedom to media which should enable it to play a responsible and balanced role in a democratic society. He urged the media to exercise its freedom in the national interest.
“You need to differentiate between a critic and a cynic. A critic analyses facts while a cynic exposes every ill but fails to see any good taking place around him,” he said.
He said that the presidential elections would be held between Sept 15 and Nov 15, to be followed by general elections in the next few months.
He said the ruling coalition partners were geared up for electoral activity and opposition parties were also expected to participate. He hoped that people would cast their votes “carefully and honestly”.
Referring to the Wage Board Award for journalists, the prime minister said that unity in the ranks of journalists would help them achieve success.
He said the government had contacted newspaper owners and there had been some development over the issue. “We want … every journalist in the country to be given due rights,” he added.
He announced a grant of Rs40 million for the National Press Club.
He also announced free medical treatment for journalists in government hospitals.
Earlier, Information Minister Durrani said the press club should serve as a think-tank, symbolising freedom of media.
President of the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists, Mushtaq Minhas called for implementation of the seventh Wage Board Award.
He demanded a special quota for journalists’ children in educational institutions and life insurance for journalists.