ISLAMABAD:(APS)MAY 3,2016- Advisor to the Prime Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Zafarullah Khan said that modern democratic societies depend on the free flow of information and the right to information. Freedom of press and right to information are the hallmarks of a free and democratic society. I believe that only an educated and informed citizenry can play a dynamic and constructive role in the development and progress of the country.
He expressed these views on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day organized by Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists at Pakistan Academy of Letters Islamabad.
Advisor to the Prime Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Zafarullah Khan said that each year, we observe World Press Freedom Day to emphasize the fundamental principles, to protect the independence of the media and to honour media workers who risk and have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. The people of Pakistan and media community have jointly waged a long struggle to achieve their right to expression.
He said that the freedom of speech and expression are envisaged in Article 19 & 19 A of the Constitution and our government believes in the freedom of press as enunciated in the constitution. We consider the freedom of expression as an equivalent to the greater freedom for the country itself.
He said that the Government acknowledges the role of media as watchdog of the society as it provides valuable inputs and feedback in formulating government policies.
He said that we believe that ensuring a congenial and secure environment is essential for the exercise of free expression. The Government is working with the media organizations and journalist community to facilitate growth and development of free print and electronic media in the country as it is imperative for a democratic polity.
He said that bills related to Right to Information and Protection of Journalists are being concluded in consultation with all stake holders. I am hopeful that we will soon formulate these bills into laws of land.
On this occasion also addressed PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Mohsin Shah Nawaz Ranjha Parliamentary Secretary for Information and Broadcasting,ANP leader Haji Adeel Ahmed,Former Federal Minister J. Salik,Legal expert Farooq Awan,Senior journalist Khawar Naeem Hashmi
Prof. Dr. Qasim Bhugeo,Later Shield and certificates were distributed among journalists