Information and Broadcasting Minister Pervaiz Rashid on Sunday extolled the virtues of career guidance initiatives for students and their parents that were launched under the banner of the Express Media Group’s Education and Career Expo 2014.
Speaking at the event, Rashid said that though traditionally parents and teachers have spearheaded the effort to guide the youth on education, the Express Media Group – a corporate media entity – was now sharing that responsibility with admirable care.
He added the event provided students the opportunity to choose a career and select the institute of their choice from dozens of universities, all under one roof.
The minister thanked the Express Media Group for inviting him to the expo. Describing students as the future of Pakistan, the minister prayed for their success. Talking to the media later, Rashid commended the Express Education and Career Expo 2014 and advised other media groups to follow its lead by arranging similar initiatives.
“Others should also arrange initiatives like the Express Education and Career Expo,” the minister said while speaking to reporters at the event in Islamabad. He urged the media to come up with such initiatives instead of indulging in the ‘blame game’ – a reference to the ongoing media tussle.
“The media should not act as the ‘judge and jury’, and not interfere in institutional matters. Nobody has that right. There are institutions to settle such problems, so they should be left to decide,” he said. The minister added that the media should respect its freedom and ‘not cut the tree it is sitting on’.
“Respect your freedom instead of using it like a monkey with blade in its hand,” Rashid said. The government believed in freedom of expression, he said, but it was the need of hour to use this freedom with utmost responsibility.
Stressing that the government was committed to protecting media freedom, he pointed out that it was also the prime responsibility of journalists and media organisations to safeguard this freedom through responsible conduct.
When asked about Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (Pemra) inability to take a decision regarding Geo TV so far, the minister said the issue is under process and government will not interfere in the institution’s affairs.
“We will neither take dictation on this issue nor give dictation,” he said. Whatever decision Pemra takes will be accepted, according to him.
In response to a question regarding a recent visit to Dubai to meet Geo TV representatives, Rashid said he also met representatives from other organisations, like the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) and Pakistan Broadcasting Association (PBA). He said a consultation was going on regarding matters related to media and APNS, CPNE and PBA were being taken on board in this regard.
Talking about cable operators’ decision to boycott Geo TV, Rashid said nobody has the right to change the position of a channel, shut it down or take the law into their own hands. “Street justice cannot work. We must look to the institutions for justice,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2014.
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