CPNE concerned over Ordinance delay -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

CPNE concerned over Ordinance delay

ISLAMABAD— The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has expressed its deep concern over the inordinate delay in promulgation of the Press & Publications Ordinance, which is causing numerous administrative and legal problems for the Press.

The Standing Committee of the CPNE met under the chairmanship of the President of the Council, Mr. Mujibur Rahman Shami. The committee has asked the Government as to what was the obstacle in the promulgation of the agreed press laws, which were discussed many times at various levels between the government officials and representatives of the editors and the press industry. It was resolved that in case the ordinance is not promulgated by November 10, 2001, the Press would be left with no choice but to observe protest day.

A press release issued the secretary-general of the CPNE has also expressed concern over the reported pre-censorship the government intends to enforce in the country. The Council has hoped that the written assurance given by the Secretary, Ministry of Information & Media Development, to the CPNE that the Government has no intention whatever to impose Press censorship in the background of current situation in the country. It was resolved at the meeting that any such action contrary to government assurance would be resisted by the CPNE.

It was impressed upon the government that in order to ensure free flow of information, senior government spokesman should be easily accessible to the Press and remain available for clarifications of news items, which are received late in the night. It was also demanded that at the press briefing and meetings of the editors with the President, and other senior government functionaries non-editors should not be invited. However, Government may have separate briefing sessions with non-editors.

The CPNE has also asked the Government not to use invitation to editors at such meetings as an instrument of discrimination against some newspapers.

The CPNE also expressed its sympathy and solidarity with the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) on the question of Wage Board Award. The CPNE has further assured the APNS that the publishers will continue to enjoy the cooperation of CPNE on all issues relating to strengthening of print media.

The meeting also discussed in detail the present situation arising out of ongoing bombardments over Afghanistan and condemned indiscriminate attacks on the civilian population of Afghanistan in which scores of lives of innocent people including women, children are being lost every day and offered Fateha for the martyrs of Afghanistan and expressed sympathies for the bereaved families.

The meeting was attended, among others, by Mr. Mujibur Rehman Shami, Mr. Arif Nizami, Mr. Zia Shahid, Syed Fasih Iqbal, Mr. Zahid Malik, Mr. Asad Abid Kazi, Mr. Sajjad Bukhari, Mr. Sharif Farooq, Mr. Mustafa Sadiq, Mr. Shaheen Qureshi, Mr. Abdul Rashid Ghazi, Mr. Adeeb Javedani, Pir Sufaid Shah Hamdard, Mr. Najmuddin Shaikh, and Mr. Riaz A. Mansoori.

Source: The Nation