ISLAMABAD:(APS)November 15, 2016-The present democratic Government is committed to facilitate media industry as it considers that democracy and independence of media goes hand in hand. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage stated this during a meeting with a delegation of APNS who called on her today in Islamabad. She expressed her resolve and commitment to freedom of expression and said that democratic Government can never think of accepting any bar on free speech and peoples’ right to hold and express their opinion.
She also urged upon media to continue to play its vital role in further strengthening democracy and nurturing democratic values and norms in the society. She said that Government would make all possible efforts to support the growth of independent media and resolve the issues of working journalists, adding that the Government would soon introduce journalists’ safety and security bill and share its initial draft with all stakeholders and media representative bodies at the earliest. She also emphasized upon the need of robust connection and liaison between government and media particularly with reference to the training and professional development of media persons and workers.
The members of delegation of APNS discussed their various issues and problems particularly with reference to the increase of rates of advertisement and their outstanding dues. The Minister of State assured her full support to the delegation regarding the resolution of their problems. She said that the Government will soon notify the rate increase in Government advertisement for the newspapers. Minister of State also agreed to the suggestion of allocating separate advertisement budget for the print, electronic and the digital media. She reiterated that Ministry of Information would continue its efforts for the betterment of media industry and work with them for the achievement of free and responsible media.Marriyum Aurangzeb also appreciated the role of print media and hoped that it would continue its positive role in promoting democratic values and positive image of Pakistan.
Rao Tehsin Ali Khan, Principal Information Officer and other senior officials of Press Information Department were also present in the Meeting.