The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) has expressed deep concern over the prevailing condition of freedom of press in Pakistan, saying the media is undergoing a phase of extreme congestion and unnecessary restrictions.
According to a resolution passed in a standing committee’s meeting headed by CPNE President Arif Nizami, despite non-implementation of the notorious censorship, the current condition of the media is far worse than it was in the past.
It seems like the newspapers are being subjected to economic sanctions in a bid to indirectly control the freedom of press. By subjecting the newspapers to economic death, an attempt is being made to end freedom of expression and information, which is against the basic rights of freedom of press.
The resolution termed the current media regulatory authority as an unwise measure dangerous for the print media. The print media obtained freedom after a long struggle and steps to bring it under a regulatory authority seem dictatorial and are creating uncertainty amongst the newspaper circles.
The resolution also expressed concerns over the various complaints of editors about restrictions on circulation of their newspapers.
The resolution stressed unity amongst all media teams, media organisations and other stakeholders and called upon them to formulate a joint strategy to ensure an end to indirect restrictions on the media.
In this respect, CPNE President Nizami was authorised to contact all media stakeholders, media organisations and journalist communities. The meeting also decided to organise an extensive media convention for promoting freedom of press.
Those who attended the CPNE meeting included; Arif Nizami (Pakistan Today), Zafar Abbas (Daily Dawn), Shaheen Qureshi (Daily Jung), Ayaz Khan and Tahir Najmi (Daily Express), Dr Jabbar Khattak (Daily Awami Awaz), Akram Saigal (Monthly Defence Journal), Rehmat Ali Razi (Daily Taaqat), Tahir Farooq (Daily Ittehad), Saeed Khawar (Daily 92 News), Qazi Asad Abid (Daily Nama Ibrat), Hamid Hussain Abidi (Daily Aman), Ijazul Haq (Express Group), Adnan Malik Malik (Daily Ummat), Maqsood Yousufi, (Daily Nayi Baat), Arif Baloch (Daily Balochistan Express), Muzzafar Ejaz (Roznama Jasarat), Shakeel Turabi (Sabah News Agency), Anwar Sajidi (Daily Intikhab), Moazzam Fakhar (Daily Jahan Pakistan), Muhammad Tahir (Daily Jurrat), Amir Mehmood (Monthly Kiran Digest), Ghulam Nabi Chandio (Daily Pak), Zulfiqar Ahmed Rahat (Daily Hotline), Abdul Rehman Mangario (Daily Indus Post), Abdul Khaliq Ali (Online News Agency), Ahmed Iqbal Baloch (Monthly Visionary), Sher Muhammad Khawar (Daily Appeal), Akmal Chauhan (Daily Wafa), Basheer Ahmed Memon (Daily Nijaat), Mehmood Alam Khalid (Monthly Farozan), Mian Fazal Elahi (Monthly Diplomatic Focus), Mumtaz Ahmed Sadiq (Daily Azadi Swat), Nasheed Roy (Daily Qaumi Awaz), Sardar Naeem (Daily Quaid), Ashfaq Ahmed Mufti (Daily Alhaq) and Zahra Abbasi (Daily Nau Sij) as well as a large number of participants from the journalist community. The meeting also discussed the distribution of government ads and other affairs. The details will be released soon.