People not media best judge of government, parties: Gilani
* Prime minister says trend in media of being kingmaker should end
* Pakistan wants resumption of composite dialogue process with India
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Saturday that the people and not the media were the best judge to pass a final verdict and hold the government and political parties accountable for their performance.
Addressing the participants of fourth National Conference organised by South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA), the prime minister said the primary and basic role of the media was to provide news and information to the people in a fair and objective manner.
“Media’s professionalism gets hugely compromised when it resorts to speculations that create fear and panic among the public”, he said adding, Â“The trend of being the kingmaker, which is manifestly present in a section of press, should end.”
He reiterated that the government believed in free media and regarded it as fourth pillar of the state, adding that the media should make sure that it did not undermine democratic system and national institutions.
He said constructive interactions between political leadership, journalist community, and civil society organisations were acutely needed for building bridges and exploring commonalities for durable peace in South Asia.
All the milestones achieved by the government owe themselves to the visionary policy of reconciliation espoused by late Benazir Bhutto, he said.
The prime minister said the parameters of the proposal of the national agenda given by Nawaz Sharif would be discussed when its details are shared.
Gilani said the government would implement Charter of Democracy and the manifesto of Pakistan People’s Party in the remaining two and a half years.
The prime minister assured of the government’s cooperation to SAFMA in holding third Indo-Pak Parliamentary Conference in Islamabad in future.
He said Pakistan wanted peaceful coexistence and friendly relations with the countries of South Asian region as well as the entire world.
“My government is for normalising relations with India,” he said adding, “We believe that terrorism and extremism constitute the major challenge for not only Pakistan and India but also all peoples of South Asia.”
Gilani said Pakistan wanted resumption of the composite dialogue process with India who must reciprocate the good intentions.
Pakistan and India should resolve their disputes, especially the Kashmir issue through peaceful means and productive dialogue, he said. “We will continue to strengthen SAARC and are ready to take measures on mutually beneficial basis,” he said.
The prime minister concluded his speech by quoting Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s address on April 14, 1972: “History beckons us, and our people are ready to march forward. Do we, the members of this distinguished Assembly, have the courage and wisdom to lead our people towards their cherished goal that is democracy?”
SAFMA Pakistan President Nusrat Javed and Secretary General Imtiaz Alam organised the conference attended by a large number of journalists.
Separately, Gilani on Saturday visited Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences (PIMS) and inquired about the health of Senator Salahuddin Dogar, who has been admitted due to liver ailment.