QUETTA: Balochistan Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri lamented on Tuesday that his province was being sidelined by the mainstream media despite its massive contribution to the country’s development.
“Balochistan is giving the nation the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, Gwadar port and its long coastal belt but regrettably it is denied its due coverage in the national mainstream media particularly the electronic channels,” CM Zehri said.
Addressing a seminar in connection with Media Day organised by the Balochistan Information Department Monday night, he said that even incidents of bomb blasts, terrorism and counter-terrorism do not get the coverage they deserve.
He reminded participants that recently a top terrorist who used to boast of killing over 400 settlers was brought down in an operation. “I along with Commander Southern Command went to the site to encourage our troops,” he said referring to the killing of BLA commander Meerak Baloch.
Commander Southern Command Lt-Gen Amir Riaz, Provincial Adviser for Information Raza Barech, Chief Secretary Saifullah Chattha, Quetta Press Club president Shahzada Zulfiqar, media persons from other parts of the country and local journalists and writers attended the seminar.
“Appropriate coverage in national media is our due right and we deserve it, as Balochistan contributes 45 per cent landmass of the entire country,” he said.
He said that China is making an investment of $46 billion due to geopolitical importance of the area otherwise without Gwadar, China would not have invested even Rs4,000 in the province.
The chief minister said that though media has become an industry and electronic channels seeminglydo less business in Balochistan, the province should not be ignored keeping in view the national interest.
Shahzada Zulfiqar said a lot needs to be done to provide security to media persons. He claimed that the families of media persons killed by the terrorists in Balochistan have yet to receive the compensation announced by the provincial authorities.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 30th, 2016.