Govt not interested in prolonging ban on YouTube: Pervaiz Rashid
LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Pervaiz Rashid on Saturday said the government was not interested in prolonging the ban on Youtube.
Pakistanis will soon hear good news in this regard after the government established mandatory filters which is a time-consuming and painstaking exercise, he said.
Speaking at a certificate-awarding ceremony to students who completed their course at South Asian Media School, Pervaiz Rashid said that tagging the government as one with a very conservative information policy would not be justified.
He said that the ban on Youtube was imposed on the bases of objectionable material deemed offensive by many and unless access to that was blocked, access to Youtube could not be given.
He said that, in this age of information revolution, it was virtually impossible to curtail access to information and anyone who believed so was living in fool’s paradise.
He said that information ministries in the past had been working to limit access to information at every level while the PML-N government was taking revolutionary steps to enable the masses have more access to information.
Talking about the media, he said that media organizations and institutions need to create opportunities and programs for the capacity-building of media personnel.
He appreciated the efforts by South Asian Media School, an initiative of the South Asian Free Media Association (SAFMA), in providing this opportunity through such courses.
He termed it unfortunate that, in a number of schools in the country, ignorance was being taught, instead of enlightenment.
Talking to the media and answering a question regarding the increasing threats and dangers to journalists performing their duties in the country, he said that the government was concerned over the security of every Pakistani in addition to the journalists community.
For this purpose, he said, new laws were being introduced which would play a vital role in the curtailing of such sad incidents.
Talking about the Press Information Law, the minister said that the government and the opposition were on the same page on the bill and it would take legal form after the incorporation of suggestions given by the journalists community. It would not only facilitate the media but would also be a productive step towards the creation of a healthy society where awareness and information prevail, he added.
Later, talking to media persons, Rashid said that the government was conscious of the responsibility of safety and security of the journalists and, in order to give this vision concrete form, the government was introducing this information bill.
The minister distributed certificates and awards among the successful participants in the course conducted by the South Asia Media School at the end.
Earlier, Executive Director, South Asian School of Media Studies, in his inaugural address welcomed and thanked the federal minister and explained the vision and mission of the institution.
Agencies add: The minister said he would help arrange a joint meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Information with representatives of the APNS (All Pakistan Newspapers Society) and CPNE (Confederation of Pakistan News Editors) to further refined the Right to Information Bill for approval.
He added that recommendations given by these media bodies through newspapers advertisement would also be discussed in the meeting and incorporated in the Bill accordingly.
He said the government was committed to getting this important Bill passed to formulate the law and implement it as early as possible for the betterment of journalism in the country.
To a question, he made it clear that access to information concerning the national security could not be given to everyone, citing that it was the rule throughout the world that no country leaked its information which posed any sort of threat/damage to its national security.
Pervaiz Rashid said the Punjab governor had already promulgated an ordinance pertaining to Right of Information which had also been implemented in the province.
To another question regarding threats to journalists/media organization by the extremist groups/Taliban, the minister said provision of security and protection to the people of Pakistan, including the media community, was a responsibility of the state, assuring that the government would fulfill this prime responsibility at all costs.