PPP will ensure freedom of Press -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PPP will ensure freedom of Press

ISLAMABAD – Co-Chairman Pakistan People’s Party Asif Zardari Thursday said that the PPP would ensure freedom of press, more access to information and would also establish state-of-the-art monitoring system of the government.

Talking to a delegation of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalists (RIU]) led by its President Afzal Butt here at Zardari House, the PPP Co-Chairman said media would be free in the next government so that it could have positive criticism on the affairs of government to improve its efficiency for the welfare and development of masses.

Zardari assured the journalists, that the next government, having strong public mandate, would make journalism a strong pillar to strengthen the democratic process in the country.

He said, “Open discussion, constructive and positive criticism by the media is the people fundamental right which will be ensured by the government.”

Referring to the freedom of press given by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who started the services of CNN and BBC in Pakistan and pave the way for electronic media in her tenure, Zardari said it has now developed and provided jobs to a number of people.
He said the PPP wants to strengthen the institutions, including the Parliament and Press. Highlighting the importance of investigative journalism, the PPP Co-chairman urged the media persons to use modem technology to find the truth before publishing and broadcasting their reports through print and electronic media.

“We will make it mandatory that every decision of the government will be discussed thoroughly in the Parliament in the presence of media before finalising and implementing any policy, “he added.

Referring to freedom of information, he said, a bill is already pending in the Senate tabled by the PPP in this regard and his party would expedite process for its early passage.

He asked the media to monitor and follow the performance of each and every minister with honestly so that they could improve their performance and efficiency.

Zardari said the government and media are the integral partners in democratic system and both had to work together for strengthening democratic institutions and to ensure the welfare of masses.

He said the ‘Working of government and each ministry would be opened for every one through web page and it would be easy for the press to evaluate the performance of government.

Referring to the problems of media, he agreed to the proposals of journalists to repeal PEMRA ordinance and RPPO.

He also agreed to minimize the role of government in the PEMRA and assured to make it autonomous regulatory body.

Regarding complaints against newspapers or private TV channels, Zardari said there should be a Press Council with the mutual consultation from owners, editors and working journalists to listen these complaints and provide relief to the aggrieved parties.

Zardari said he is committed that wage Board Award should be implemented and assured the journalists that he would talk with the owners on this issue for its implementation in an appropriate manner.

Source: The Nation
Date:2/29/2008