ISLAMABAD, May 3 (APP): Minister of State for Information,
Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb said on Wednesday that the government was aware of the role of free, unfettered and pluralist media in strengthening democracy, peace and justice within a society and was, therefore, trying to provide a legal framework to ensure safe and secure environment for the journalist community.
Speaking at the oath-taking ceremony of the elected office-bearers
of Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists (Dastoor Group) here,
she that a bill in that regard would soon be introduced in the parliament
in consultation with all the stakeholders.
The minister said that the government was contemplating to organize
capacity building courses for the journalists at the Information
Services Academy to improve their professional skills and improve their understanding of the professional codes of conduct so that they were able to develop a culture of self-regulation without any intervention by the government institutions.
She said that media persons could also benefit from Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs), as their training and capacity building was
part of those goals, to which the government of Pakistan was signatory.
She informed the audience that government was aware of the problems
faced by the journalists and was giving top priority to resolving them.
The MOS assured the journalists that an effective mechanism would be
evolved to expedite the process of disposal of cases in the Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees (ITNE).
She observed that the World Press Freedom Day was being celebrated in Pakistan with an abiding commitment to uphold the freedom of press. She also paid glowing tribute to those journalists, who lost their lives while performing their professional duties.
Marriyum said that the institution of Wage Board was the legal right
of the journalists which they would get irrespective of the fact that
there were some complications after the devolution of powers to the provinces under the 18th Amendment.
She informed them that the government would also upgrade the facilities
at the press clubs as besides the Senate, National Assembly and provincial assemblies, the press clubs were the forums where journalists raised their voice for the rights of the people and strengthening of the democratic system.
The minister said that the journalists in Pakistan enjoyed more
freedom than their counterparts in the developed and developing countries which made it obligatory on them to report the event as it occurred and not give an opinion, as was the requirement of the code of ethics.
Marriyum Aurangzeb urged the journalist community to promote positive image of the country by highlighting the achievements and strides taken in various spheres of the national life, including economy, infrastructure, energy and restoration of peace.
The minister congratulated the new office-bearers of RIUJ (Dastoor
Group) who took oath.
Senior journalists Haji Nawaz Raza and Saud Sehar, and newly elected
President of the RIUJ-Dastoor Mazhar Iqbal also spoke on the occasion.