Senate body for extensive coverage of problems of less developed areas

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ISLAMABAD, Aug 24 (APP): Underlining the need for comprehensive
coverage of problems in less developed areas, the Senate Functional Committee on Wednesday recommended Associated Press of Pakistan (APP)
to set up bureaus in Gwadar and Federally Administered Tribal Areas
(FATA).
The Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed
Areas, which met here with Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar in the
chair, was given a detailed presentation by APP Managing Director
Masood Malik and Executive Director Sohail Ali Khan.
They informed the committee about APP’s infrastructure, news
gathering mechanism and a wide network of district correspondents,
ensuring news coverage of remote areas of the country.
The committee was also attended by Senators Mir Kabir Ahmad, Khalida Parveen, Jehanzeb Jamaldini and Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel.
The committee appreciated the performance of APP in covering
national and local issues across the country and stressed the need
for more focus on remote areas in FATA and Balochistan to highlight
various issues being faced by their people.
The APP Managing Director assured that recommendations of the committee would be implemented, provided the funds were made available because the news agency was already facing financial constraints.
Recommending appointment of more correspondents at every district
in Balochistan, the committee assured it would endeavour that APP’s financial requirements were met to enable it expand its network in
less developed areas of the country.
Director General Internal Publicity Wing Nasir Jamal representing
the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage
also assured the committee of implementation of the recommendations.
Committee chairman Usman Khan Kakar also recommended that APP
should give coverage to all political parties, besides preparing special reports and documentaries on the problems being faced by the people
of Balochistan and FATA.
He said less developed areas constituted 71 per cent of the
country’s total territory and their issues needed to be highlighted as
the organization was also asked to start its Pushto service from Quetta.
The committee asked the APP management to get verified domiciles of all its employees belonging to Balochistan.
The APP Managing Director informed the committee that the process
had already been started in light of the committee’s earlier query and a report would be submitted on its completion.
He assured the committee of strict action against any employee with
a fake Balochistan domicile.
Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini proposed to prepare documentaries on illegal hunting, tree felling and livestock for creating awareness
among the people.
Senator Mrs Khalida Parveen said the issues of Fort Munro,
Bahawalpur and Cholistan should also be focussed in documentaries and
news features.
The meeting was also informed about the constitution of APP Board
of Directors (BoD) and the committee members desired that there should be representation in the BoD from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Later, Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) Director General
Jamal Shah gave a detailed briefing to the committee about the
overall performance of PNCA during last two years and its future plans
for less developed areas.
He also presented details of cultural shows and other programmes arranged by the PNCA for the people of those areas and said the PNCA needed professionals and artists.
The committee chairman said there should be no lingual, provincial
and cultural distinction between the people of Pakistan and people of each area must be focussed in PNCA programmes.
The committee also recommended to focus on singers, actors and
artists of less developed areas to extend financial assistance.