Underlining the need for comprehensive coverage of problems in less developed areas, the Senate Functional Committee on Wednesday recommended Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) to set up bureaus in Gwadar and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas, which met here with Senator Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar in the chair, was given a detailed presentation by APP Managing Director Masood Malik and Executive Director Sohail Ali Khan.
They informed the committee about APP’s infrastructure, news gathering mechanism and a wide network of district correspondents, ensuring news coverage of remote areas of the country. The committee was also attended by Senators Mir Kabir Ahmad, Khalida Parveen, Jehanzeb Jamaldini and Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel. The committee appreciated the performance of APP in covering national and local issues across the country and stressed the need for more focus on remote areas in FATA and Balochistan to highlight various issues being faced by their people.
The APP Managing Director assured that recommendations of the committee would be implemented, provided the funds were made available because the news agency was already facing financial constraints. Recommending appointment of more correspondents at every district in Balochistan, the committee assured it would endeavour that APP’s financial requirements were met to enable it expand its network in less developed areas of the country.
Director General Internal Publicity Wing Nasir Jamal representing the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage also assured the committee of implementation of the recommendations. Committee chairman Usman Khan Kakar also recommended that APP should give coverage to all political parties, besides preparing special reports and documentaries on the problems being faced by the people of Balochistan and FATA. He said less developed areas constituted 71 per cent of the country’s total territory and their issues needed to be highlighted as the organization was also asked to start its Pushto service from Quetta. The committee asked the APP management to get verified domiciles of all its employees belonging to Balochistan. The APP Managing Director informed the committee that the process had already been started in light of the committee’s earlier query and a report would be submitted on its completion.
He assured the committee of strict action against any employee with a fake Balochistan domicile. Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini proposed to prepare documentaries on illegal hunting, tree felling and livestock for creating awareness among the people. Senator Mrs Khalida Parveen said the issues of Fort Munro, Bahawalpur and Cholistan should also be focussed in documentaries and news features.—APP