CPNE deplores attempts to revive draconian media advertising policies -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

CPNE deplores attempts to revive draconian media advertising policies

KARACHI- The standing committee of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) on May 9, 2003 strongly deplored the attempts to revive draconian media advertising policies which were evolved during the military dictatorships of the 70s, 80s and 90s and warned that any reversion to these Constitution violative media policies would be totally counterproductive and would be resisted by the CPNE with all the resources at its command.

Meeting under the chairmanship of CPNE President Mujibur Rahman Shami, the meeting reviewed government-press relations and in that context expressed its strong reservations on the moves to revive media policies of the former military regimes.

It pointed out in a strongly worded resolution that in the past all such attempts were resisted by the CPNE as also by the APNS.

It was even more painful to find that some quarters were interested in fostering those old draconian rejected media advertising policies in the present day when Pakistan had gone through a process of general elections, re-established a democratic civilian government and all the political parties were pledged to uphold press freedom.

The meeting said that the Information and Media Development Ministry should keep in pace with the ushering in of democratic elected government and the new environment at the national, regional and international levels for more freedom and transparency in governance, which included media advertising policy.

Therefore, any attempt to centralise or control advertising would be tantamount to an effort by the government to control and dictate to the newspapers by using advertising as the pressure lever.

The CPNE would resist all such attempts and said that the government should instead seek cordial relations with the print media, especially the newspapers which were committed to serve the cause of democratic practice in Pakistan in keeping with the ideals of the founding fathers of Pakistan.

The standing committee deliberated at length upon the resignation letter from the CPNE membership of daily Khabrain Editor Zia Shahid, Sharif Farooq, editor, Jihad Peshawar and Mukhtar Aquil, editor, Jurrat, Karachi.

The meeting also reviewed the news about the formation of the Pakistan Editors Council in which Zahid Malik along with Zia Shahid, Sharif Farooq and Mukhtar Aquil were involved.

The meeting considered these actions as highly detrimental to the cause of unity and press freedom in the country.

Therefore, the meeting accepted the resignations of Zia Shahid, Sharif Farooq and Mukhtar Aquil as received and expelled Zahid Malik from the CPNE.

The meeting declared that the CPNE had successfully countered such divisive moves by disgruntled elements, with the backing of vested interests in the past, and would emerge even more strong after this purging of vested interests from the CPNE.

The CPNE standing committee elected Khusnood Ali Khan, editor Sahafat, to the standing committee in place of Zahid Malik and also elected him as the vice president of the CPNE.

The meeting also elected dailies Millat and Din to the standing committee in place of Khabrain and Jihad.

The meeting then proceeded with consideration of membership applications and approved full membership for Daily Express, Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, while it renewed the membership of monthly Trade Chronicle.

The meeting also constitute a five-member committee of former presidents of the CPNE with M.A. Zuberi as its convenor to suggest comprehensive measures for improving and expanding the working of the CPNE.

Other members of the committee included Ahmad Ali Khan, Inquilab Matri and Mustafa Sadiq.

The standing committee meeting also reviewed the arrangements for the holding of the annual function of the CPNE and the selection of awards for the year to the Best News Story, Best News Article and Best News Photo.

The meeting directed that the committee set-up with CPNE President Mujibur Rahman as its chairman should finalise the programme.

The standing committee also deliberated upon the subject of press laws as promulgated by the federal government, including the regulatory law relating to publications and printing presses.

It was given a complete picture of the existing situation regarding issuance of declarations, authentication of the same, etc, as existing at present and felt that necessary corrective steps must be taken in consultation with the CPNE and the APNS by the government to overcome the difficulties as were faced at present.

The meeting decided to consult its legal experts on the subject and then get back to the government with its proposals on the subject at the earliest.

The meeting also condoled the demise of daily Leader Editor Manzarul Hasan and offered condolences to the bereaved family.

Earlier, the meeting also reviewed the arrangements being made for the visit of the CPNE editors delegation to Iraq and decided to finalise the delegation at the earliest along with the arrangements for its visit to Iraq.

The meeting was initiated with the recitation from the Holy Quran by Anwer Farooqui and concluded with a vote of thanks to the chair.

The members who attended the standing committee meeting included M. A. Zuberi, editor, Business Recorder, Arif Nizami, editor, Nawai Waqt, Syed Fasieh Iqbal, editor, Balochistan Times, Shaheen Qureshi representing the Jang Group, Khusnood Ali Khan, editor, Sahafat, Riaz Mansuri, editor, the Cricketer, Anwer Farooqui, editor, Aghaz, Aamir Mahmood, editor, Kiran, Mushtaq Ahmed Qureshi, editor, Nae Ufaq, Jabbar Khattak, editor, Awami Awaz, Jawed Meher Shamsi, daily Kaleem, Inquilab Matri, daily Millat, Mahmudul Aziz, editor, Pictorial News Review, Wiqar Yusuf Azeemi, editor, Roohani Digest, while Mujibur Rahman Shami presided over the meeting.

Attending as observers were Qutubuddin of Asian Medical News and Sajjad Mir, resident editor, Nawai Waqt, Jamil Ather, editor, Tijarat and Kazi Asad Abid, editor, Ibrat, regretted their inability to attend but endorsed the decisions of the standing committee.

All the members attending the meeting prayed for the early recovery and good health of the son of Qazi Asad Abid.

Source: Business Recorder