FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION TRAINING WORKSHOP May 16 to 17 May 2009 Canal Rest House Chanigoth

Chanigoth(Rural Pakistan)May17,Rural Media Network Pakistan(RMNP) with the colloboration of Unesco organised two days long Freedom of Expression Training Workshop in Canal Rest House on May 16 to May 17,2009.It was inugurated by Director Public Relations Bahawalpur Division,Government of Punjab Nazir Khalid,while Professor Shehzad Ahmed Khan,Syed NajmusSaqib,Mohd Saleem, Ehsan Ahmed Sehar and Gulzar Ahmed District General Secretary Bar Association were the resource persons.A total seventen journalists representing national,regional newspapers & tv channels hailing from Chanigoth town attended the workshop.Professor Shehzad Ahmed Khan said that journalists had not only lost their jobs but also gone to jails during the course of their struggle.He said that most of their problems had,however been solved with new developments which had made censorship impossible.Professor Shehzad Ahmed Khan added that not only the objectivity required to be maintained in journalism but all schools of thought should be provided a opportunity to express their point of view.He highlighted the struggle of journalists for freedom of expression duing the 62-year history of the country.Resource persons Syed NajmulSaqib,Mohd Saleem,Gulzar Ahmed adovcate undelined the need of Internet training to promote freedom of expression in rural Pakistan.They termed Pakistani journalists the most courageous in the world.They had stood up for freedom of expression regardless what government happened to be in power.They had been flogged and jailed and they had suffered persecution and even loss of livehood,but they had not given up,unlike their Indian counterparts who had caved in after Mrs Gandhi s, assumed emergency powers,suspending the constitution.They told the participants that as many as 59 Pakistani journalists had died in the line of duty.They had been abducted and they have been tortured.Even members of their families had been targetted and killed.President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar stated that Pakistani journalists faced pressures from the state and threats from non-state actors,such as militants.Pak journalists have faced pressures from feudal lords and from its religious zealouts and yet we have preserved and refused to lapse into silence,he told the audience.He said journalists working as stringers for the foreign media had no insurance,no security and no protection when they went on dangerous missions.And yet they continued doing what they considered as honoured professional duty,he observed.He said that FOE workshops in rural Pakistan is RMNP initiative to train both male journalists and women contributors,so a network of freedom of expression in rural Pakistan be created.Director Public Relations Bahawalpur Division,Government of Punjab Nazir Khalid also gave a lecture and highlighted government point of view.He stated that government believes in the freedom of press.He cited the examples of the actions taken by Chief Minister Punjab Mohd Shahbaz Sharif and Chief Secretry Punjab Javed Mehmood on the various complaints published in different newspapers.Director Public relations hailed the establishment of Press Freedom Monitoring Committes by Rural Media Network Pakistan and assured his full cooperation in reslolving journalists community problems.He asked the rural journalists to inform him about their genuine problems,so it could be taken into the notice of divisional and provincial administration.Chanigoth journalists improved their reporting on FOE issues as the result of this two days long training workshop.The poor provision of water,heating and electricity as well as administrative mal-practices and police high handedness came under discussion.The role of both print and electronic media in highlighting the rural problems was also discussed in detail and participant journalists expressed their apprehensions.This training workshop provided journalists with an overview of the Freedom of Information laws, fundamental principles of human rights including labour and pension rights,gender law,HIV and AIDS related laws and procedural laws.The techniques to design action alerts was also imparted to participants.Seventeen journalists also received the copies of “Freedom of Infornation Rules” and the Urdu translation of the “Basic documents recognising the principle of press freedom” and ” Reference documents on professional ethics”.In the concluding session,Director Public Relations Nazir Khalid distributed cerificates among seventeen rural journalists,Shahid Bashir Anjum,Mohd Hashim,Abdul Rasheed Langha, Abdul Saboor,Faheem Akhter Malik,Abdul Hafeez Faheem,Mohd Aslm,Mohd Anwar,Rana Nadeem Akhter,Farrukh Zaman Khan,Abdul Rasheed Punuhan,Malik Zafar Iqbal,Tariq Khan Abbasi,Abdul Qadir,Mohd Sajjad Ghallu and Syed Irfan Haider Bukhari.

tra8Chanigoth(Rural Pakistan)Director Public Relations Bahawalpur Division Nazir Khalid,Professor Shehzad Ahmed Khan and Ehsan Ahmed Sehar lectuering in Freedom of Expression Trainining Workshop organised by Rural Media Network Pakistan with the colloboration of Unesco in Canal Rest House Chanigoth.


2-Director Public Relations Bahawalpur Division Nazir Khalid giving certificates to the participants of RMNP-UNESCO FOE Training Workshop in Canal Rest House Chanigoth

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