World Press Freedom Day 2009 Seminar Chani Goth Rural Pakistan

UNESCO Executive Board Decision Hailed

Chanigoth (Rural Pakistan) May 4: Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab Engineer Mohd Balighur Rehman MNA has hailed 174 Executive Board UNESCO decision, for upholding the exercise of freedom of expression in a spirit of mutual interest and mutual understanding and paid tributes to UNESCO for urging mutual respect for cultural diversity religious beliefs and religious symbols. These views were expressed by him while addressing World Press Day Seminar organised by Rural Media Network Pakistan (RMNP)with the collaboration of UNESCO on the topic “Dialogue, Mutual Understanding & Reconciliation in Union Council Hall Chanigoth last night. It was chaired by PPP MNA Arif Aziz Sheikh while PML(QA) leader & former Chairman District Council Bahawalpur Syed Mehmood Akbar Rizvi, PML (N) leader Qazi Adnan Farid and PPP leader Hassan Askari Sheikh were the guest of honour. Mohd Balighur Rehman agreed with UNESCO the role media can play to deepen differences or to create knowledge about others and their history in order to enhance better inter-cultural understanding. He opined that one of the main challenge when advocating for freedom of expression – and a frequent road block in the way of tolerance and understanding arises from the tension when expression offends or confronts other s’ culture, religious belief or identity. He referred to Danish Cartoons Affair which created hatred in the whole Muslim World. Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab lauded the role of print & electronic media during recent long march call by PML (N) Quaid Mohd Nawaz Sharif and said that due to it, movement for the restoration of judges succeeded. He said that media could work towards building mutual understanding by strengthening media culture itself. He added that Pakistani media is vibrant as compared with India which bowed down when slain Indian Premier Indira Gandhi grabbed powers under emergency while Pakistani media stood up against former Dictator General (r) Musharraf when he imposed emergency in Nov 2007. Similarly Pakistani media also faced other military dictators bravely when journalists were flogged, tortured and sentenced, he maintained. Mohd BalighurRehaman stated that PML (N) believes in the freedom of press and would provide maximum facilities to the journalists community. The alleged killers of slain journalists in Punjab province would be taken to task
and Chief Minister Punjab Mian Mohd Shahbaz Sharif has directed the law enforcing agencies to leave no stone unearthed in the arrest of culprits he concluded.

PPP MNA Arif Aziz Sheikh applauded Rural Media Network Pakistan(RMNP) for its diligence in monitoring press freedom violations and defending the rights of journalists who work in rural areas and small towns. He said that RMNP’s work to promote an exchange among the country’s rural journalists, to build their professional skills, and to defend their freedom to report was a model for other journalists organisations. He congratulated RMNP on on its plans to make the organisation even more dynamic including improvements to the internet site and Freedom of Information Newsletter Sadiq News. Without these sources, too many of the men and women who work in remote areas would have neither a voice in defending their profession nor a reliable source of information about press freedom, he observed. MNA Arif Aziz Sheikh emphasized a need for strengthened cooperation and networking of local media outlets and professionals in order to maintain independence of media and avoid attempts to control media and threats against journalists. Local media needs to provide more economical, social, cultural and human interest news stories from local perspective to be able to provide alternative coverage and compete with satellite televisions and news agencies. He hailed the announcement of the establishment of press freedom monitoring committee in Chanigoth and assured his full cooperation for the rural journalists of his home town Chanigoth. Former Chairman District Council Bahawalpur Syed Mehmood Akbar Rizvi, PPP prominent leader Hassan Askari Sheikh,District General Secretary PPP Bahawalpur Mohd Ali Ahsan,PMLN)leader Qazi Adnan Farid,Union Nazim Chanigoth Mehr ,Mohd Siddique,Tehsil President President Press Club Liaquatpur Khurshid Ahmed Khurshid, President Press Club Chanigoth Shahid Bashir Chaudhry, President Press Club Mubarakpur Mazhar Rasheed, Senior Vice President National Press Union Shabbir Ahmed Qureshi and Islamia University Mass Communication student Fahim Akhter Malik also spoke in the seminar. President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar presented RMNP annual press freedom report and told that 15 of 104 journalists killed world wide were Pakistanis.He revealed that 58 Pakistani journalists have been killed in the line of duty so far. President RMNP demanded of government to provide life insurance cover to those journalists who were working in tribal areas and FATA besides imparting “Safety Training” to them. World Press Freedom Day Edition of Daily Newspaper Nawa-I-Ahmedpur Sharqia was also distributed among participants while the messages of Director General UNESCO Koichiro Matsurra, Director International Press Institute (IPI) David Dadge, Director Free Voice Bart Dijkstra and President Commonwealth Journalists Association (CJA) Hassan Shariar were also read in the seminar. Earlier Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab Engineer Mohd BalighuRrehman MNA gave first Urdu language training manual ,Television Journalism published by International Centre for Journalists USA to five reporters of Independent TV channels of Liaquatpur and Chanigoth Mohd Tariq Alvi, Khurshid Ahmed Khurshid, Zafar Hussein Chuhan, Tariq Hussein Shad and Shahid Bashir Anjum while PPP MNA Arif Aziz Sheikh, Ex-Chairman District Council Bahawalpur Syed Mehmood Akbar Rizvi and PPP leader Hassn Askari Sheikh distributed UNESCO CDs among Chanigoth journalists, Shahid Bashir Chaudhry, Malik Zafar Iqbal Naich, Mohd Hashim Khan, Doctor Mohd Anwar Chaudhry, Tariq Khan Abbasi, Faheem Akhter, Abdul Saboor Khan Lanhgha, Malik Fayyaz Naich, Abdul Haeez Fahim, Farrukh Zaman Khan, Rana nadeem Akhter, Malik Abdul Raheed, Chaudhry Mohd Asif and Chaudhry Ghulam Mustafa. Both Special Assistant to Chief Minister Punjab Engineer Mohd Balighu Rrehman MNA and Arif Aziz Sheikh also received books gifts on the behalf of Rural Media Network Pakistan.










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