Islamabad, January 29, 2013 (PPI-OT): President Asif Ali Zardari today launched Pakistan’ first Exclusive English Channel of PTV-World at an impressive ceremony held at the PTV Headquarter, Islamabad, Today.
The ceremony was attended among others by Minister for Information and Broadcasting Mr. Qamar Zaman Kaira, federal ministers, parliamentarians, federal secretaries, team of the newly launched channel, senior officials, media persons and members of the civil society.
Addressing at the launching ceremony, the President said that Pakistan was democratic and peace loving country and its people are greatly hospitable, courteous and hardworking and urged the need for projecting these characteristics of Pakistanis and positive and soft image of the country at national and international level.
The President said independent media was a guarantor of human rights, freedoms and liberties and its role was critical in furthering democracy. He said that launch of yet another TV channel by PTV will increase competitiveness in the field of electronic media.
The President said that the record of this government in upholding media freedoms and tolerance for dissent speaks for itself as it has endured even a campaign of slander.
According to prepared text of the speech, the President said that we have extended the hand of friendship to all political forces, to the media and all stake holders as well and that we feel satisfied that this policy of the government has started paying dividends.
The President said that our people are wise and can differentiate between freedom of expression and an organized campaign of slander.
He said the government is earnestly addressing issues of media freedom and in this regard a Press Council has been set up and its Chairman has been appointed. It is now for the Press Council to move forward and move fast in consultation with all stake holders, he added.
Commenting on the freedom of information, the President said that the Ministry of Information has taken the ownership of the Freedom of Information Act as the government believes in providing genuine access to information for the sake of transparency and accountability.
Spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that President expressed confidence that a Senate Sub Committee and the Ministry of Information are already working on draft Freedom of Information Act in consultation with all stake-holders to repeal the old Ordinance of 2002, and bring in a new Act of the Parliament. He directed the Ministry of Information Ministry to expedite finalization of the Bill and table it in the Parliament at the earliest.
The President stated that Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto as Prime Minister started the process of liberalization of the media in the light of her vision It was for the first time during her government that the system of newsprint quota was done away with and it was in his government that cable news in Pakistan were introduced.
Recounting some of the achievements of the Present government, the President said that the government has taken far reaching measures to consolidate democracy which include Giving self-rule to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, resolving the issue of distribution of resources between the Federation and the Provinces through 7th NFC Award, restoring the 1973 constitution, reclaiming Swat and Malakand from the militants, fighting head on terrorists and extremists and empowering the Parliament in helping frame security and foreign policies.
Commenting on the state of economy, the President said that although certain sections of the society object on economic performance of the government which he opined are not base upon facts, he said that standard of living of the people was on the improve which was reflected by the enhanced sale of cars, tractors, motor cycles and other necessities of life.
He said that performance of the Karachi stock Exchange , increase remittances and the increase in country’s export shows that economy was not stagnate but growing steadily and gradually he however urged the need for more vigorous steps for sustainable economic development.
Commenting on current energy problems, the President said that the government was deeply conscious of the energy problem which, he said was a result of the circular debt left behind by the previous government. He said that during Shaheed Muhtarma’s second government Pakistan had surplus electricity and were even able to export power to however thoughtless reversal of the energy policy of her government led to the present day power crisis.
He urged the need for all political parties and stakeholders to develop consensus on economic policies, particularly policies in addressing the energy crisis.
The President while touching upon steps taken by the government to improve condition of the media, said that present government has taken a number of measures for improving the conditions in media and will continue to take more such actions. He called upon all the stakeholders to work together to improve government-press relations in the larger interest of the country and the people.
The Spokesperson said that President expressed hope that wit the launch of an Exclusive English Channel, PTV-World will play its part in changing perspectives and will change the way the world looks at and evaluates Pakistan. PTV-World must represent Pakistan for what it truly is and it must bring forth the counter-narrative, he added.
He said that the new channel should bring forth impressions of our rich history, heritage, diverse cultures and traditions; stories of modernity, of women empowerment, of the achievements of our youth, doctors, engineers and professionals and bring forth success stories of our expatriates.
He urged PTV to cover National and International News and Current Affairs in a factual, balanced and fair manner by being objective and should bring out the positives as well as the negatives to give a clear picture of Pakistan.
The President lauded the efforts of all those associated with the successful launch of PTV-World and prayed for the continued success in the days and years to come. The President on the occasion also congratulated the management of PTV on the successful completion of one year of PTV-Sports which was launched in January 2012.
On joint struggle for restoration of democracy in the country, the President aid that he has very close association with media persons as we together with many of the journalists endure hardship in the struggle for restoration of democracy in the country.
The President urged the government for allocating funds to PTV to initially support newly launched channel to help it sustain it in the competitive media market.
For more information, contact:
Haji Ahmed Malik
Principal Information Officer
Press Information Department (PID)
Tel: +9251 925 2323 and +9251 925 2324
Fax: +9251 925 2325 and +9251 925 2326