Pak-Afghan Journalists Conference begins
PESHAWAR: Pak-Afghan Journalists Conference began here in Peshawar on Monday. More than 50 journalists from both neighbouring countries are attending the conference. The inaugural session of the conference was held in a local hotel. Addressing the inaugural session of the conference, US Consul General, Robert Reid said that the promotion of contacts between the journalists of both countries would lessen distances between both countries and strengthen ongoing efforts for restoration of peace in the region.
The US envoy said that an independent media is not only necessary for the stability of democracy, but has also proved helpful in the resolution of economic and social issues of the society. He said that though the region is dangerous for journalists, but the Pakistani media is fulfilling its responsibility in a better manner. He said that the Afghan media is also changing its dimensions according to the new emerging situation. He said that the conference would help promote bilateral relations between both countries.
Addressing the conference, Senior Minister, Bashir Ahmad Bilour said that the journalists of Pakistan and Afghanistan had suffered a lot and the sacrifices of the journalists of Peshawar were a golden chapter of its history. He was of the view that the continuation of the democratic process along with parliament and judiciary would also stabilise the media.
An Afghan journalist, Babrak Miankhel said that the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan shared the same feelings and bonded in the same civilisation and culture, which could not be separated from one and another. He stressed the need for joint efforts to get rid the region of the prevailing problems. He said that the media can play a crucial role in bringing normalisation in the region. He was of the opinion that in the past thousands of Afghans have been killed due to the negative role of the media. But, in the present situation, he urged the media to play a responsible role.
President, Khyber Union of Journalists (KhUJ), Arshad Aziz Malik said that since 2003 18 journalists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 11 in FATA and a total of 90 have been killed in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan is included in the top dangerous countries, where the continuation of the profession of journalism had become highly difficult.