Mubarkpur |(Rural Pakistan) May3, Director Information Bahawalpur Division Ejaz Ahmed Ghauri
has said that Punjab Government believes in the freedom of press which neither issued press advice and nor used official advertisement as a lever to suppress newspapers. These views were expressed by him while addressing the World Press Freedom Day Seminar organised by the Rural Media Network
Pakistan with theme “Freedom of Information, the Right to Know” in Press Club Mubarakpur last night. It was chaired by President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar while PML(N)leader Sardar Malik Jehangir Warran and prominent political figure Makhdoom Syed Zulfikar Hussein Bukhari were the guests of honour. A large number of journalists from small towns of Bahawalpur district among the notables of the area were present on the occasion. President Press Club Mubarakpur Mazhar Rasheed acted as moderator. Director Information stated that both United Nations and Pakistan have given the guarantee of the freedom of press and freedom of speech under article 19.In Pakistan now both electronic and print media were enjoying liberty in covering the events while in past, journalists gave sacrifices for the freedom of press. They were awarded with lashes and put behind bars in military governments on the charge of excercising their rights of the freedom of expression. He urged the mediamen to give top most priority to national interest while reporting to both print and electronic media as this procedure had also been adopted in United States and Britain, the mothers of both parliamentary and presidential
democracies. He eulogized the services of the Rural Media Network Pakistan for organising World Press Freedom Day seminar in a far flung area of Mubarakpur. Earlier President RMNP Ehsan Ahmed Sehar presented the salient features of Annual Press Freedom Report. He informed that a total 134 journalists were killed from January 2009 to 30th April 2010 in whole world out of which 12 were Pakistanis. He admitted that present government has awarded more press freedom as compare to previous Musharraf regime and stressed the need for dispensing with the culture of official secrecy and an effective and comprehensive legislation on access to information. President RMNP stated that Freedom of expression, through the press, electronic media, the internet and any other medium is fundamental human right. He added that the origin of this concept is the fundamental right to emergence of human services.We as Muslims, can take great pride in the fact that Holy Quran and the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) have defined for us, the principles and practical application of the freedom of expression which the World Press Freedom Day celeberates. In a world of increasing knowledge and complexity, there is need to use this freedom with care and responsibility along with respect for truth and for all points of view,he concluded. Earlier PML(N) leader Malik Jehangir Warran,prominent political and social figure Makhdoom Syed Zulfikar Hussein Bukhari, President Al-Fatah Welfare Organisation Jamshed Karim,President Press Club AhmedpurEast Mohd Suleman Farooqi, President Press Club Uchsharif Mohd Akmal Sheikh, President Press Club (Sadar) Bahawalpur ShabbiulHassan Ramzi,senior Journalist Rao Mohd Farooq and others speakers said that media plays an important indispensable role in denouncing injustice and in defending peace and sovereignty of the people. They paid tributes to those Pakistani journalists who were killed in the line of duty. One minute silence was observed to honour the journalists who sacrificed their lives for our right to know while fateha was also offered for the departed souls of slain Muslim journalists. The messages of Director General Unesco Ms Irina Bokova, Director General World Association of Newspapers(WAN) Timothy Balding, Director International Press Institute
David Dadge, President Commonwealth Journalists Association Hassan Shahriar, Representative Free Voice Eric van der Lee and International Past President CJA Canada Murray Burt were also distributed in seminar alongwith Urdu translation of RMNP annual press freedom report.