LAHORE: The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has expressed its resolve to continue informing facts to the general public despite unfavourable circumstances and threats.
This was stated at the CPNE Standing Committee meeting held under the chairmanship of the Council President Jamil Athar Qazi in Lahore in which serious concern was expressed over the fatwa issued by a branch of the Tehrik-e-Taliban, Shoora Mujahideen.
The Taliban branch has said in its fatwa that Pakistani media had been involved in the propaganda instead of publishing facts. It has termed the media status as an agent of the tyrannical forces. The fatwa also stated that if the media would not stop their propaganda, then they would be murdered.
Those included in the discussion: Imtiaz Alam, Syed Sarmad Ali, Senator (Retd) Fasih Iqbal, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami, Zia Shahid, Shaheen Qureshi, Amir Mahmood, Dr Jabbar Khattak and Jamil Athar Qazi. The meeting said that the fatwa bears no name of any mufti which doubts its authenticity. It has been appealed to the Ulema to take notice of the fatwa and ensure that no one poke his nose in the freedom of the press.
The meeting expressed their resolve that all editors were united in the protection of the freedom of expression and any threat and terrorism against any newspapers would be considered an attack on the whole journalist community.
The meeting also expressed their opinion that at a time when there was dialogue going on between the government and Taliban, such fatwas were like to sabotage talks on the part of the Shoora Mujahideen Tehrik-i-Taliban. It will also send negative signal in the efforts of opening peace doors.
The resolution also stated that the CPNE and print media would not become part of such move and it would make utmost efforts to help in making successful the dialogue between the government and the Taliban.
The meeting appealed to all religious sects to discourage threats of murder and torture. Pakistani media should be allowed to work under the constitution and not to allow any hurdle in this regard.
The meeting at the end gave final shape to the arrangement of holding a national conference of prominent politician and journalist, Maulana Zafar Ali Khan in November.
It has also been decided to issue the final information of holding the national conference with the approval of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the final date of the conference. This would be decided by a 35-member standing committee of the CPNE. The newly elected standing committee will also elect members of the CPNE office-bearers. The meeting also expressed its grief over the death of mother of Waseem Ahmad, Chief Editor of Daily Awam and Daily Public, Quetta.
The meeting was attended by CPNE President Jamil Athar Qazi; Senior Vice-President Shaheen Qureshi, Amir Mahmood, Secretary General; Ghulam Nabi Chandio, Joint Secretary; Rehmat Ali Razi, Chairman Punjab/Vice-President, Punjab; Waseem Ahmad, Vice-President/Chairman Balochistan Committee; Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami (Pakistan); Zia Shahid, Daily Khabrain; Dr Jabbar Khattak, Daily Awami Awaz; Javed Mehr Shamsi, Daily Claim; Sardar Khan Niazi, Monthly Naya Rukh; Syed Muhammad Munir Jilani, Daily Paigham; Mehtab Khan, Daily Ausaf; Mumtaz A. Tahir, Daily Aftab; Mukhtar Aqil, Daily Jurat, Karachi; Syed Haroon Shah, Daily Wahdat; Syed Ayaz Badshah, Daily Mashriq, Peshawar; Alyas Shakir, Editor Qoumi Akhbar, Nadeem Chaudhry, City-42; Mohsin Mumtaz, Daily Aftab; Irfan Athar Qazi, Daily Tijarat and Jurat; Aslam Khan, Internews; Imtiaz Alam, South Asian Journal and Ijaz-ul-Haq, Daily Express and Vice-President, Islamabad.