ISLAMABAD, Jul 02 (APP):Minister for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Barrister Syed Ali Zafar Monday said he had directed that Pakistan Television (PTV) should work independently and give air time to all political parties.
Speaking during a meeting of the Senate’s Committee for Information and Broadcasting here, he said Pakistan Television was giving coverage to all political parties. Everybody could see how PTV was functioning, he added.
The minister said the committee should give guidelines so that the performance of PTV could be improved. The ministry would follow the recommendations made by the committee, he added.
The committee meeting was chaired by Senator Faisal Javed here at the Parliament House. Secretary Information Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera, who is also PTV Chairman, briefed the committee members about the affairs of Pakistan Television.
Sukhera said 90 employees of the Pakistan Television had been paid pension. Rs 377 million had been paid as pension while the PTV needed another Rs 1 billion to pay more than 250 pensioners, he added.
He said the PTV management was clearing dues and medical bills of the employees, that had risen to Rs 1 billion.
The secretary said the PTV in its programmes was giving coverage to all the political parties and holding balanced talk shows. The PTV was facing shortage of funds, which was affecting its rating as it could not buy new equipment and cameras. Its performance was appreciable as it was airing 11 specialised programmes to promote different sports. The PTV should be helped to come out of its financial difficulties, he added.
Sukhera said the PTV owned its artists, adding the channel aired programmes about renowned humorist Mushtaq Yousufi, who died recently.
The committee chairman acknowledged the fair coverage being given to all political parties on the state television. He said a grand debate of political parties should be done on PTV as was done by BBC and CNN before the elections.
He said PTV needed money to buy equipment to improve quality of its programming.
Senator Anwar ul Haq said people had a special connection with the PTV. He recalled that families used to sit around television sets to watch PTV’s dramas. The PTV promoted traditional values of the Pakistani society, he added.
The committee was also briefed about the performance and financial situation of Radio Pakistan.