Jabbar asks Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) to present pluralism of views -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Jabbar asks Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) to present pluralism of views

ISLAMABAD- Advisor to Chief Executive on Information Javed Jabbar asked Radio Pakistan to use its existing freedom “more vigorously and assertively” in presenting pluralism of views in a constructive manner. Outlining a number of challenge facing Radio Pakistan in the modern era of high-tech communication and in view of future competition with private channels, Jabbar said the national channel should improve the contents of its programmes to enhance its credibility. “The present government, which is the first to acknowledge the reality of free radio and TV channels, will support you in using the existing freedom more vigorously you have to be a little more assertive in presenting pluralism of views on a variety of subjects,” he stated at the PBC’s Programme Conference of Station Directors.

Jabbar asked the PBC station directors to shrug off the “psychological restraints” that are a result of strict political control exercised by the majority of past governments. The present government, he assured, would have a deeper understanding of the problems facing the PBC. However, he said at the same time, its employees would have to attain higher professional standards to take on the challenges lying ahead.

Jabbar said the government is committed to the freedom of electronic media and that transfer of the electronic media from the “traditional control to freedom will be a delicate process.” “The chief executive has acknowledged the basic reality of free channels and that the private sector has a right to share in electronic media and there should be a reflection of pluralism of views,” he said. Jabbar said the government would soon reach a decisive stage vis-a-vis that delicate transfer of the electronic media. He also referred to the challenges facing the PBC on financial front. “The internal challenges PBC faces include terms and conditions of service, provision of facilities and development of human resources,” he said.

Jabbar emphasised that the financial benefits being employed by the PBC employees should be improved. “There is a contradiction between the national role the PBC plays and the resources that have been made available to it. That has been due to the constant historical failure on part of most of the past regimes to endorse and ensure PBC’s development,” he said.

Jabbar said, “PBC also faces an important challenge in the form of facilitation of devolution of power. In the coming months, it is not just that local bodies elections will be held but a change in the nature of institutions will take place.” The elections at Union Council, Tehsil Council and District Assemblies level would mark a historic process that will see the reformation of institutions. “That is a fundamental initiative. It will be for the first time that police will be made to serve the people and they will be subservient to a district level elected representative. Previously, police used to be at the disposals of chief ministers alone, but now they will be accountable to representatives of people at district level,” he said.

The advisor to chief executive said the PBC should also highlight the aspect that women had been allowed equal representation in Union Councils. That is something unprecedented even in India, the seats for women will be filled by elected women only,” he said. “In addition, another point that needs to be integrated in Radio Pakistan’s programmes is that there will be multiple representation in wards to ward off antagonism based on ‘baradarism’ and pave the way for smooth working of the system in the best interests of people, he said. Jabbar also asked the PBC to pay attention to improving the quality of its plays so that they could gain more popularity with the people. He also referred to the need to carry out “self-analyses” to judge PBC’s popularity as well as to enable it to reach out to maximum listeners across the country.

The advisor appreciated the PBC role in promoting national unity and safeguarding national interests. “The history of is virtually the history of PBC. For over 20 years, the PBC has been a bridge between two parts of the country and after that under difficult circumstances, it accomplished the task of projecting the concept of ‘Pakistaniat’ in every nook and corner of the country. Radio Pakistan, he said, also performed admirably in preparing the nation to take on the Indian challenges it faced right in the beginning as the country had a unique situation to face,” he said.

“Radio Pakistan has been a national security institution and its experts are an asset for actualising socio-economic development,” he said. Jabbar appreciated the services rendered by Secretary Information Khawaja Ijaz Sarwar and Director General Syed Anwar Mahmood in improving the lot of national channel. Earlier, the secretary information, who is also the chairman of the PBC and its former director general, said, “Radio Pakistan is poised to play a crucial role in creating public awareness about the significance of local bodies elections.” “The local bodies elections have a great significance for the country and at places where literacy level is low and where there is no electricity and hence no TV, the radio which broadcasts its programmes in 20 dialects, is poised to be effective in educating the people about their responsibilities in regard with election of fair people,” he said.

Source: The News
Date:3/28/2000