CPNE vows to fight against curbs on freedom of expression

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The Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) while terming the situation of freedom of media in country as worsening has said that restriction on freedom of expression is blatant violation of the basic human rights.
The CPNE said that process of stopping the official advertisements on the basis of editorial policy has been started. The CPNE said that it has severe kind of objections on the proposed Advertising Policy Draft of the government, adding that it will present the suggestions while protesting on the restrictions on freedom of media.
This decision was made during the CPNE Standing Committee meeting chaired by CPNE President Arif Nizami at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal Lahore. During the meeting the proposed Advertising Policy Draft of the government was reviewed in detail. The meeting while raising severe kind of objections decided that while protesting on the restrictions on freedom of media the suggestions will be presented regarding Advertising Policy Draft because through just distribution of advertisements the most important matters regarding protection of regional and small newspapers are necessary.
The meeting said that the process of imposition of restrictions and censorship on daily basis directly or indirectly on the freedom of expression should immediately be stopped.
The meeting said that the unwanted and severe kind of interference is being done in the newspaper organizations and in this regard different demands are being made, especially the advertisements of local newspapers of Balochistan and Sindh either have been completely stopped or largely decreased.
On the occasion CPNE Secretary General Dr, Jabbar Khattak said that in past only few newspapers were given the government advertisements; however the government advertisements are also of great importance for local and small newspapers. He said that the just policy and procedure is necessary regarding the distribution of advertisements.
It was said in the meeting that media was facing problems including severe government interference, economic insecurity of media workers, security issues, dangers in performance of professional duties and interference. It was decided in the meeting that CPNE will continue opposition and resistance against the restrictions imposed on media on the pretext of different things and other matters. The meeting said that prior to holding dialogues with CPNE and other stakeholders, the direct and indirect actions against the freedom of media should be stopped because the policy of controlling the newspapers through government advertisements is based on outdated and dictatorial tactic and by again starting this policy the advertisements are being stopped on the basis of editorial policy.
During the meeting it was demanded from the government that the conspiracies against the freedom of expression and freedom of journalism should be stopped and prior to formulating new advertising policies the just distribution of advertisements and lifting the restrictions imposed on freedom of media should be ensured.
During the meeting it was also decided that constitutional petitions will be filed in concerned high courts for the payment of government advertisement dues from federation and other provinces.
On the suggestion of CPNE President Arif Nizami, the meeting decided to release the “Pakistan Media Freedom Report” after every three months.
The meeting was attended by senior members of CPNE Sardar Khan Niazi, Muhammad Haider Amin, Anwar Sajdi, Dr. Jabbar Khattak, Amir Mehmood, Irshad Ahmed Arif, Ayaz Khan, Hamid Hussain Abidi, Aijazul Haq, Ghulam Nabi Chandio, Kazim Khan, Yousuf Nizami, Shakil Ahmed Turabi, Arif Baloch, Abdul Rehman Mangrio, Syed Mumtaz Shah, Faqeer Manthar Mangrio, Muhammad Irfan, Bashir Ahmed Memon, Ashraf Sohail, Malik Liaquat Ali, Awais Razi, Sher Muhammad Khawar, Syed Shamsul Zuha Shah, Zubair Mehmood, Akmal Chohan, Mehmood Alam Khalid, Taufiqur Rehman Saifi, Aslam Mian, Sardar Abid Aleem, Zeeshan Bashir and a large number of editors.–PR