Islamabad, March 20, 2014 (PPI-OT): Safety and security of journalists without any discrimination is the cornerstone of our policy. Dr Nazir Saeed, Secretary IB and NH said this in a meeting with the delegation of the Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ), today in Islamabad.
He said that the present Government considers media as an important instrument for strengthening democracy and would continue to facilitate it in the performance of their professional obligations. Each and every citizen of the land is important for the state and the Government would leave no stone unturned to ensure protection of media workers and journalists, the secretary asserted.
He assured the delegation of CPJ that every crime against the journalist would be investigated, whether it is an attack on media house or killing of a journalist in the line of his/her duty. He informed the delegation that the Government is committed to provide security, life insurance, financial security and compensation to the families of martyred media workers.
In this connection, a mechanism for the provision of life insurance policy is worked out and a special cell is being set up in Press Information Department (PID), which is an attached department of this Ministry. The cell will facilitate journalists to get the benefit of life insurance scheme, the secretary told.
For ensuring speedy justice, the cases regarding killings of journalists would be heard by anti terrorist courts and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Human Rights have been requested for referral of such cases to anti terrorists courts, Dr Nazir Saeed informed.
He said that Prime Minister has also announced the formation of a commission comprising media representatives, public figures and Government functionaries which will propose measures for the protection of journalists.
Secretary information said he would take all possible steps to facilitate foreign media in Visa processesing in coordination with Ministry of Interior. Executive Director (CPJ),Joel Simon said that they are highly encouraged by the assurances of Prime Minister regarding security of journalists.
Kati Martin, Executive member (CPJ) and widow of Late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke appreciated the efforts of the Ministry IB and NH and the commitment of the Government of Pakistan for demonstrating a keen interest, earnestness and seriousness regarding the issue of providing security to the journalist’s community.
She said that role of press is highly pivotal because it works as a bridge between the people and its leadership. Ahmed Rashid, Executive member also lauded the message of Prime Minister that the issue of the security of journalists will be taken up at all levels.
The delegation of the CPJ comprised of Joel Simon, Executive director, Kati Martin, Executive member, Ahamed Rashid, Executive member, Robert Dietz, Asian programme coordinator and Ms.Elisabeth witchel, impunity campaign consultant.
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