Minister asks media to play ‘responsible’ role
KARACHI: Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Maryam Aurangzeb said on Sunday that the draft of a bill for safety and protection of journalists had been prepared, but before presenting it in parliament it would be shared with journalists and media houses.
The minister, who is on a visit to Karachi these days, was speaking at a ‘meet the press’ programme held at the Karachi Press Club.
Answering a question, she said the media was free to differ with anyone on any issue, but it was wrong for it to play with the dignity of anyone.
She said the media had a right to have an opinion, but it needed to show a sense of responsibility while expressing it. The media should avoid indulging in a discussion which could tarnish the image of the country, she said, adding that it should also avoid reporting a matter which could compromise the security of the country.
In reply to a question, Ms Aurangzeb said the government was aware of financial difficulties of press clubs and was taking measures in this regard.
Talking about a statement of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari that he would become prime minister of the country in 2018, the minister said the next prime minister would be from the party which would receive the mandate of the people.
Rejecting four demands of the PPP chairman, she said he should focus on improving the performance his party’s provincial government in Sindh.
When asked about the outcome of an investigation into the leak of information about a high-level security meeting, the minister said she was not aware of it.
Answering a question about the working of Pemra, she said it was a constitutional institution which operated under prescribed rules and regulations.
Ms Aurangzeb rejected the criticism of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on the performance of the federal government and said keeping in mind the performance of the PTI-led provincial government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa it was difficult to believe that he could be able to bring about any change if his party came to power in the Centre.
Talking about the National Action Plan, the minister said the federal and provincial governments had equal responsibility to make the plan a success.
In reply to a question, she said security on the Pak-Afghan border had been tightened.
In an earlier statement, the information minister claimed that the federal government had made achievements in turning around the country’s economy and in this regards she pointed out the launching of several energy projects and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project and construction of motorways.
She said the government was making all-out efforts to eliminate terrorism from the country and restore peace in Karachi. Whatever flaws were left would soon be overcome, she added.
She greeted the Karachi Press Club for observing the Sindh cultural day.
On the occasion the secretary and other office-bearers of the press club presented the traditional gift of Ajrak to the minister.