ISLAMABAD: Information and Broadcasting Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said Sunday that his priority will be the role of a bridge between the government and the media.
The minister said that tomorrow (Tuesday) he will meet with representatives of the journalist to find a viable solution to his problems and to clean up the “vital fees” in front of Eidul Fitr.
He gave assurances to media protesters outside Parliament that the Pakistani government Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) would take all possible measures to resolve their financial problems. He promised to play the role of media industry lawyer regarding his genuine concerns to find a reliable way out.
Shibli Faraz spoke to participants at an organized sit-in in front of parliament to mark World Press Freedom Day. The minister said he simply cannot think of going against the interests of the media. The minister said he knew that many journalists had not been paid for several months, and that solving this problem would be most important to him.
The Minister recognized the fact that journalism was a noble and very important profession, given its role in political and social culture. He mentioned the proactive role of the media during the PTI and ImranKhan movements and said that the media is playing an active role in the fight against the coronavirus, in addition to doctors, nurses and health workers.
Senator Shibli said the role of the media in fighting the coronavirus was remarkable and, like doctors and paramedics, media workers were front-line soldiers in the war against the virus.
Media workers, he said, also faced financial difficulties for quite some time. However, he assured the sit-in participants that he would meet with their representatives in a couple of days and that their problems would be resolved in order of priority, that is, the same day, otherwise he would join them.
The Minister expressed the hope that before Eidul Fitr receives the majority of his unpaid wages, they will receive good news. The Minister noted that he attended a sit-in to express solidarity with them and receive information on the problems faced by media workers.
“The media representatives remained at the forefront of the PTI’s fight against the status quo, and the government will never disappoint them. I will be your lawyer and I will not judge your well-being and well-being, ”he said.
He said that he himself belonged to a literary family. Since his father was associated with the profession of the pen, he considered himself part of this tribe, so he could not think of going against the interests of this profession.
The minister noted that some of the speeches delivered at the scene gave the impression that the government was acting too recklessly, but the difference between the current and the previous regime was that Prime Minister Imran Khan always supported those who were in economic dispute in his heart. . However, he explained that journalists were by no means weak in any sense of the word.
“He works for those who suffer financially, and some parties criticized him for this because he is the first prime minister to join the group with disabilities,” he said.
Shibli Faraz said Prime Minister Imran Khan, after joining the government, has taken practical steps to ensure the well-being of vulnerable sectors of society facing financial difficulties.
He said the government appreciated constructive media criticism like a watchdog, which helped improve governance. He expressed the hope that the media will also highlight the constructive and positive steps taken by the government.
The minister explained that the advertising quota of regional newspapers was not affected and said that he would try to do everything possible to solve the real problems of the media industry and that he would like to improve conditions.
Former Interior Minister and PPP Senator Abdul Rehman Malik also appeared to express solidarity with the media and spoke on the occasion, acknowledging the victims made by journalists in the war against the threat of terrorism in the country.
“The journalists made sacrifices in front of us, and we see that they carry out their tasks during the bombings. PPP supports journalists and we will allow any injustice towards you, “he said.
He argued that his party would fight for press freedom in all forums. He asked the information minister to announce a special aid package for journalists in the context of the virus.
Previously, journalists, representatives of the main journalistic organizations and representatives of various press clubs also spoke and expressed their concern about the current state of the media industry. The chants also echoed in front of the House of Parliament to immediately release Jang ad Geo Group editor-in-chief Mir Shaquille-ur-Rahman.
Among those who spoke on this occasion were Nasir Zaidi, Ch.R. Shamsi, Fauzia Shahid, Hamid Mir, Afzal Butt. They said it was now even more obvious that MSR’s arrest was a matter of press freedom.
Requirements were made in relation to World Press Freedom Day, including:
1- Elimination of the announced and undeclared prohibition and press releases published in the media. 2- Immediate reinstatement of dismissed journalists and payment / processing of pending contributions from the government and the media. 3- Law of structure of services in television channels. 4- Repeal all laws and regulations developed and intended to destroy and compromise the media and press freedom. 5- Restoration of 25% of the fixed quota for regional newspapers and abolition of centralized politics. 6- Immediate implementation of the Salary Council award; and 7- Media Assistance Package for COVID-19.
In addition to these requirements, PFUJ also emphasized that the government should immediately release Jang and Geo Group editor-in-chief Mir Shaquille-ur-Rahman, whose arrest in the 34-year-old case appears to be an attempt to shut down and control assets. fixed. media
“Currently, Pakistan is losing credibility worldwide due to the deterioration of media freedom in the country due to cruelty and twisting of the arms, and has seen further declines in the freedom index of the media worldwide, “the PFUJ said in a statement.
“A vivid example of arm twisting is the arrest of Jang / Geo Group editor-in-chief Mir Shaquille-ur-Rahman by the National Accountability Office in a 34-year-old property case,” said PFUJ.
On Press Freedom Day, the HLPF expressed concern about the deterioration of media freedom and the direct threats to the lives of journalists and some key leaders, simply to turn them into contradictions, using dirty tricks and social media. , posting images and photos of family members of women with abusive and threatening hashtags.