President Alvi calls for addressing social issues
Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi reiterated his pledge to play constitutional role to address the social changes and societal issues.
Talking to a delegation of the Executive Committee of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), the president said it is imperative to address issues like malnourishment, infant mortality, high population rate and property rights for the women in the shortest possible time.
Special Assistant to the prime minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan and Secretary Information and Broadcasting Zahida Perveen were also present on the occasion.
Highlighting the role and importance of media to create public awareness about national development and social changes among the people, the president warned about the threat of fake news leading to disastrous consequences. President Alvi highlighted the role of new and emerging technologies saying if the nation does not benefit from the emerging artificial intelligence technologies it cannot achieve prosperity and become a modern country.
The president appreciated media’s support for the promotion of his initiative on artificial intelligence which would revolutionise the way scientists and researchers approach scientific issues. He said his endeavor on artificial intelligence received very good response from Karachi which needs to be expanded to the rest of the country. Alvi said the programme has also been started in Faisalabad and Islamabad. He said the Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms can be helpful in raising awareness about societal issues like potable water, health, education. He said youth learning media sciences confront problems while seeking employment so it is imperative that market realities and requirements are reflected in the academic curriculum. This would help the graduating students claim gainful employment, the president added.
Alvi said besides constructive criticism, the media should create awareness about social issues. The public issues must be discussed in news, analyses and commentaries in order to effectively address them, he said.
The president announced to give awards to channels conducting best reporting on health, education and other social issues. Alvi said government is doing its best for the growth of the media industry despite complex economic challenges.
The president termed Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s visit as productive and result oriented and expressed the hope for early achievement of regional peace. He said Pakistan fully backs Afghan peace process and is playing an effective role in that country’s reconstruction.
Earlier, the prime minister’s special assistant, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said President Dr Arif Alvi’s leadership and support is very encouraging. She said the president has always supported and emphasised on the growth of media industry. Dr Awan said the government has also always accorded top priority to the growth of media’s industry. She said in order to address the issues faced by journalists the government has ensured urgent payment of the advertisement dues, while those remaining outstanding will also be soon resolved. She said the owners of the media houses must pay attention to the problems faced by the journalist community. The PM’s special assistant said a new advertisement policy would be devised with the consultation of all the stake holders which would include policy for social media, electronic and print media.
The APNS president expressed gratitude over president’s consistent support to the media. He said the media is responsible for abolition of fake news, curbing it before it turns viral and offering factual news.
The APNS delegation comprising Sarmad Ali, Mumtaz Tahir, Mehtab Khan, S M Munir Jilani, Shahab Zuberi, Wasim Ahmad, Khushnood Ali Khan, Javed Mehar Shamsi, Irfan Athar, Haroon Shah, Sardar Khan Niazi, Fauzia Shaheen and other members informed the president about the issues facing the media industry and requested him to play role to address them.