Pakistan to assist Afghanistan in re-establishing media centres -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pakistan to assist Afghanistan in re-establishing media centres

ISLAMABAD- Pakistan on December 26, 2002 agreed to co-operate with Afghanistan in re-establishing centres of information and media in that country.

The visiting Afghan Minister for Information, S M Raheen, and his Pakistani counterpart Sheikh Rashid Ahmed agreed in formal talks held here to increase bilateral co-operation in the field.

Islamabad would provide every possible assistance to Kabul to re-establish electronic and print media centres and, for this purpose, a team of Pakistani experts would be dispatched to ascertain the volume of requirements.

The meeting was also attended by Director General External Publicity Wing M Noor Saghir Khan, DG Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation Tarique Imam, Managing Director APP Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal, Principal Information Officer Akram Shaheedi and Deputy Managing Director PTV Akhtar Wiqar Azim.

Those from Afghan side included Afghan Charge d’Affairs in Pakistan Rehmatullah Musa Ghazi, Head of Bakhtar Information Agency Khalil Ullah, Chief of Afghan Radio Dr Zahir Siddiq and a media man, Shoaib Sharifi.

Rashid said that Pakistan would provide all help to set up a radio station in Kabul and for this purpose two transmitters of 10-50 watts and studio equipment would be provided as gift from the people of Pakistan to their Afghan brothers.

Besides, he said, technical skill would be provided to the engineers and journalists of Afghanistan at the PBC, PTV and Information Academies in their respective fields.

The meeting also discussed Afghan proposal for having translated versions of poetry in Darn and Pashtu of Allama Iqbal and Mirza Ghalib for the people of that country.

Managing Director APP Ashfaq Ahmed Gondal informed the meeting that the country’s premier news agency is ready for free exchange of news with the Afghan Bakhtar Information Agency (BIA).

An agreement has been drafted and would be finalised in due course.

Gondal also assured the BIA to assist in setting up of computerised networking system with its subscribers in Kabul and for this purpose APP will send soon experts to prepare a feasibility report.

DG PBC Tarique Imam said that arrangements could also be made to air its programmes in Darn and Pashtu languages for the listeners in Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan.

PIO Akram Shaheedi said that journalists and owners of newspapers from Afghanistan would be. invited to meet with their Pakistani counterparts for bringing out newspapers from Kabul.

Deputy Managing Director PTV Akhtar Wiqar Azim offered co-operation in bilateral joint ventures in the field of documentary feature films.

He also offered to provide the recordings of various known PTV productions to the Afghan TV free of charge.

Afghan Minister for Information thanked the people and government of Pakistan for the extension of co-operation and said that since the Afghan nation at present is trying to reconstruct the homeland, “we seek help” of Pakistani people.

“We are thankful to the people as well as the government of Pakistan for extending all help during these crucial days of reconstruction and I am sure that they will continue to extend their valuable help in the times ahead,” S M Raheen said.

Business Recorder, December 28, 2002