Media can project soft image of Pakistan: Firdous
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan has said that media can effectively project soft image of Pakistan across the world besides strengthening democracy in the country.
Speaking at a reception hosted in her honour by workers of Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) here, she said Pakistan was facing a challenging task to present real picture of its image, culture and identity at international level. It is the responsibility of national media to counter anti-Pakistan propaganda by presenting true image of the country, she added. In connection with charter of demands presented by President of APP Union, Bilal Thaheem, she assured the contract and daily wage employees of APP would be regularized in line with the regularization policy of the government.
The Minister said that the government has already regularized contract employees in many organizations including Pakistan Television Corporation.
The Minister also assured that the Ministry would pursue a case of Rs. 220 million grants for APP with the Ministry of Finance for its earlier approval.
Moreover, she said after assuming the charge of the Ministry, she has been constantly trying to solve problems of APP and in this connection several meetings have been held between the APP management and the officials concerned of the ministry.
She assured that all genuine demands of APP Employees Union would be addressed gradually. Firdous Ashiq said the government’s top priority was to solve workers’ problems and give them job security, despite the fact the government is facing financial constraints.
Appreciating the performance of the news agency, she said APP is being considered a credible news agency which is successfully protecting national interests at international level.
She said that the ministry is going to organize capacity building training programmes for APP journalists with the collaboration of international media organizations.
The Minister said that the ministry is also working on a plan to up-link APP with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries for swift exchange of information.
She also directed APP management to prepare PC-1 of Housing Scheme for its employees.
On the occasion, Firdous Ashiq also announced to reinstate four sacked employees of the IT Department, and said it is the basic aim of PPP to provide ‘Roti, Kapra and Makan’ to the masses.
The Minister also announced Rs. 1 million for the APP Employees Union.
Speaking on the occasion, Managing Director APP, Mohammad Riaz said that all the sacked employees have been reinstated along with all the benefits, under the government decision, besides regularizing services of 35 contract employees on the directive of the Supreme Court.
He said that the management was working for the collective welfare of the employees and in this connection last year 50 per cent raise in the salaries was given to all the workers, including contract employees.
Mohammad Riaz said the management has also initiated a process of regularizing contract and daily wage employees after getting formal approval from the ministry.
He said that service rules and regulations of the organization are being formulated and called upon the workers to continue their handwork for progress of the organization.
Earlier, President of APP Employees Union Bilal Thaheem demanded increase in sanctioned strength of the employees, regularization of contract employees, regularization of Video News Service (VNS), permanent budget for APP and implementing recent government decision of revision in pay scale.
President Federal Union of Journalist Pervez Shaukat also spoke on the occasion and assured to continue struggle for the welfare of journalist community.
Source: The Nation