Kaira terms media freedom pre-requisite to democracy
ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira Thursday said the media had played a very important role in the restoration of democracy and reinstatement of superior judiciary and its freedom was a prerequisite for continuation of democracy but its neutrality was also vital.
Talking to a TV channel, the Minister said the issue of a responsible media was being discussed everywhere and even a debate was going on in this regard on media itself. He said the media had every right to criticize the government, governance and political parties but the government and the political forces also had the right to evaluate media’s performance.
Kaira said the media had played a very crucial role as a national institution, but it should also remain impartial and not issue judgment on sub-judice matters. The minister said that there was a lot of difference between those anchor persons and reporters in the electronic media, who had worked in the print media and those who had no such experience or training.
Citing examples of the lawyers and doctors profession, he said that new entrants in those fields were given on job training by their seniors. He said that sometimes live coverage of events was not in the national interest and the news channels should consider this aspect.
In this regard, he referred to the live coverage of the deportation of Osama bin Laden family. The minister said that some politicians and workers did not want to attend talk shows as some anchors imposed their own opinion and did not allow the guests to freely give their perspective on the topic.
About the Press Council of Pakistan, he said that it could not become functional in the past but the credit of making it functional went to Raja Shafqat Abbasi, its present chairman. Other panelists of the programme included Riaz Fatiyana, Tasneem Qureshi, Justice (retd) Tariq Mehmood, Farzana Bari, Abdul Malick, Amer Mateen and Rana Qaiser.