SAFMA meeting begins today
LAHORE – President Gen Pervez Musharraf is inaugurating today (Saturday; November 20) the fourth SAFMA conference on media and reconciliation processes in South Asia.
More than 250 leading editors and journalists from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan would attend the two-day conference, which was to focus on the negotiation process between India and Pakistan and other countries of the region, said a news release issued by the SAFMA on November 19. Most of the foreign and local delegates have already arrived here to participate in the moot.
The press release said the conference had assumed added importance in the backdrop of the steps being taken by the governments of India and Pakistan for building confidence.
The first session of the moot on peace and reconciliation is scheduled to be addressed by Najam Sethi (Pakistan), C. Raja Mohan (India), N.M. Sharmini Boyle (Sri Lanka), Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury (Bangladesh), Dr Muhammad Waseem (Pakistan), and Gokul Pokhrel (Nepal). Bandana Rana will moderate the session. During the inaugural session, SAFMA Secretary-General Imtiaz Alam will present the organization’s objectives.
The second session will be on the independence of media after 9/11. It will be addressed by World Editor’s Forum director Bertrand Pecquerie, IFJ President Christopher Warren, FIDH director Christine Habbard and others.
Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz is expected to be the chief guest at the dinner to be hosted by Punjab Governor Khalid Maqbool for the delegates on the first day of the conference.
The third session of the conference tomorrow morning (Sunday) will be addressed by foreign minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri, Rita Manchanda Harish Khare (India), Khaled Ahmed (Pakistan), Mahbubul Alam (Bangladesh), Yubaraj Ghimire (Nepal), and Ranga Kalansooriya (Sri Lanka).
Leading politicians, including JUI’s Maulana Fazlur Rehman, PML’s Mushahid Husain, PPP’s Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan, PML-N’s Tehmina Daultana, JI’s Liaquat Baloch, and PPP(SB)’s Dr Mubashir Hasan will speak during the concluding session. The conference will also issue a Lahore Declaration at its concluding session.