Improvement in democracy, media still needed: Abida
By: Iftikhar Alam
LAHORE – Democracy and free media are essential for the development of the country and the both need to have excellency, integrity and responsibility to build a healthy and progressive society, say speakers at Hameed Nizami Press Institute of Pakistan (HNPIP).
Addressing a seminar on ‘Independent Pakistan and Free Media – Imperatives of Democracy’ on Tuesday, they were of the view that every segment of the society should change its set ‘design of thinking’ and participate in nation building, as the destination visualised at the time of creation of the country is still for away.
Senior leader PPP Syeda Abida Hussain presided over the seminar. Secretary General Jamat-e-Islami Liaqat Bloch and Department of Current Affairs Head, PTV, Zia-ur-Rehman Amjad were the chief guests while President CPNE Khushnood Ali Khan, Director Institute of Communication Studies, Punjab University, Dr Ahsan Akhtar Naz, Chief Reporter Nawa-I-Waqt Salman Ghani and Columnist Ashraf Sharif were the speakers on the occasion. Director HNPIP Absar Abdul Ali moderated the session.
Syeda Abida Hussain while preferring the print media to the electronic, in terms of responsibility, said politics and press were vital in a democratic system, however, in case of our country, improvement in both was still needed. She strongly negated some points raised on the system of democracy in Pakistan and advocated ‘democracy is the best solution to the miseries of the people.’ She urged to shun the debate that Pakistan was created by the rightist or the leftist, adding ‘we together made Pakistan and we should save it.’
She, at the same time, suggested when ‘now we are facing devastating floods the government should appeal to the international community for writing off our loans.’ About President Zardari’s UK visit, she said ‘had he consulted with CEC, we would have advised him not to undertake the visit.’
Liaqat Baloch said protection of ideology was essential for the sovereignty of Pakistan. He said unity among the nation and working of every institution within its limit was also necessary for development. He said, in case of Pakistan, not only the free media but also free foreign policy and independent economy were also needed. He said the media should be responsible keeping in mind the national agenda and solidarity.
Baloch was of the view that feudalism, capitalism and corruption were acting like cancer in our society and independent media was vital to root out these diseases.
Amjad Ziaur Rehman said we may be called independent but he doubted our independence’ as our nation was stuck up in whirlpool and was standing between the devil and the deep sea. He said the question also strikes him whether or not the media was presenting their culture.
He said the media should play its part to save their ideology and culture.
Khusnood Ali Khan also advocated for the free but responsible media, however, he put question that how the dream of free media can be fulfilled here in Pakistan when the biggest advertising source is the government?
He also talked about the self-responsibility of the media, however, he condemned every effort of curbing media and added ‘me as a working journalist and president CPNE would be in the front to save the free and independent media.’ Ahsan Akhtar Naz said the three pillars of the society remained in control of the US and now it was also trying to get control over media in Pakistan.
Salman Ghani said debate about the free media was continuing among the people, the government and the politicians, however, ‘I belong to such a group which holds a strong view on the responsible media.’ He said the picture of Pakistan was still gloomy and there were many institutions which needed reformation.
Ashraf Sharif said a question mark stood against the media as to whether it aimed at saving democracy and independence in the country.
Source: The Nation