Government committed to strengthen freedom of press: Javed Jabbar
ISLMABAD- Adviser to Chief Executive on National Affairs and Information Javed Jabbar said, the government is committed to strengthen freedom of expression without putting any curbs.
Chairing an inter provincial consultative and coordination meeting Jabbar stated that the present Government supports freedom of the Press which is a reflection of its confidence. “We are witnessing a unique phenomenon, this is first government led by the Armed Forces which supports freedom of the Press and has not put curbs on the freedom of expression.”
The Advisor to Chief Executive said, open and conflicting views are being expressed on important national issues like the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. “This is reflection of the confidence of the Government,” he said.
Jabbar appreciated the role of the Press and the electronic media in the projection of objective views and highlighting of the facts to effectively counter the Indian propaganda during the Indian airliner’s highjacking episode.
The meeting of the information sector at the federal and provincial levels decided to conduct a review of the existing resources. The meeting decided to review the actual performance of the information sector in the past three and a half months with the objective of helping to promote the seven-point agenda defined by the chief executive.
“The first guiding principle was to ensure that the information sector and media in Pakistan reflect participation by the people, transparency and candid exchange of information and opinion with the aim of promoting the empowerment of the people and laying the foundation of a genuine democratic order”, Jabbar said.
It was decided that the inter provincial meetings would be held after every three months to strengthen the consultations, coordination and contacts between the federal government and provincial governments and decided to set up media coordination committees at provincial level.
The meeting also decided to support growth of a “vigorous and independent regional Press along with the national Press by ensuring that the Government advertisements are allocated on the basis of the objectives and fair criteria without discriminating against small genuine publications in all the four provinces.” “A review of dummy publications will be conducted in accordance with a set objective criteria in all the four provinces so that the limited resources of the Government are used appropriately for the advertisement.”
The meeting decided to involve provincial information departments in the work of Audit Bureau of Circulation with greater de-centralization, Jabbar said.
On electronic media, all the four provinces and the AJK government representatives, expressed, in principle, their satisfaction over the performance of radio and TV.
The meeting agreed on the creation of an information technology network between all-important offices of federal and provincial information ministries and departments to ensure a prompt sharing of relevant information.
Punjab provincial minister Shafqat Mehmood, Sindh Information Minister, Mirza Karim Baig, NWFP Information Minister Imtiaz Hussain Gilani, Balochistan Information Minister Abdul Qadir Baloch, Secretary Information Khwaja Ijaz Sarwar, and senior officers of the Ministry of Information attended the meeting.
Source: Business Recorder