Government-press relations discussed
KARACHI- The government is committed to building a dynamic relationship with the press to help meet new challenges.
This was stated by federal minister for Information Javed Jabbar during a meeting with the president and members of the All-Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS). The meeting was attended by APNS president Mir Shakilur Rehman, secretary-general Arshad Zuberi, CPNE president Arif Nizami and ISPR director general Rashid Qureshi.
Discussions between the minister and the APNS covered virtually all principal issues relevant to government-press relations and to the development of the press sector. These issues included various aspects of government-controlled advertising, including advertisement rates, payments etc.
Javed Jabbar said it was one of the priorities of the government to establish new institutions, such as the press council and an autonomous ABC. Responding to earlier comments made by the APNS president with reference to the concept of a wage board exclusively for working journalists and newspapers employees, the minister said the government had fulfilled a legal obligation.
The wage board was headed by a former judge of the Supreme Court and he hoped that divergent viewpoints on the issue could effectively be addressed through both informal dialogue outside the wage board and through formal process provided by the wage board itself. He urged the APNS to use the process of dialogue and discussion with the relevant segments before taking further decisions with regard to the 7th wage board award.
Earlier, the APNS president listed several problems affecting the financial viability and stability of an independent press. He said it was the unanimous opinion of the APNS and the CPNE that along with the press council the access to the information act be also announced. He requested the government to facilitate the resolution of such problems.
Members of APNS who also spoke included Syed Fasih Iqbal, Arshad Zuberi, Arif Nizami, Jabbar Khattak, Mumtaz Tahir, Ilyas Shakir, Waqar Yousuf.