Govt determined to fight terrorism‚ extremism: Kaira


Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira on Friday said that the government was determined to root out terrorism and extremism from the society.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of a four-day training workshop for radio broadcasters‚ he said efforts were underway to promote tolerance in the society.
The four-day training workshop was organised by Intermedia Pakistan, Danish International Development Agency, Aks and Search for Common Grounds Pakistan. It was attended by 26 broadcasters from private FM and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation radio stations in 25 districts of the country.
The information minister said that Pakistan had suffered great losses due to terrorism and extremism. He lauded the role of media, particularly radio, in combating terrorism.
“The government and its institutions can only fight with the individuals, groups or networks, but it needs the media’s support to defeat the terrorist mindset,” Kaira said.
The minister said that the government had taken all possible steps to help the families of martyred journalists who had sacrificed their lives while performing their duties during the war on terror.
He further said that radio had played an important role during the operation in Swat, Waziristan and FATA areas as it reached every locality without electricity.
He said the radio presenters and broadcasters should form public opinion persuading them to accept terror war as Pakistan’s own war and guide the people as this menace could not be eliminated until this mindset was defeated.
He said the extremist mindset was promoted by the foreign powers to fight against the USSR but after achieving the goal, those forces left the region leaving the nurseries in Pakistan to promote the fundamentalism.
Kaira assured the radio broadcasters and presenters of all-out support to help resolve their issues. He said that the repetitive coverage of isolated incidents of violence was counter-productive and gave undue advantage to elements seeking to harm the society.
He said reporting of crises, emergencies and violence should be balanced and based on evidence and added that the disproportionate coverage of violence created unnecessary public confusion.
Kaira stressed that media persons could not be considered as independent if they were working with a gun to their heads. He said media in Pakistan was enjoying unprecedented freedom, while the government was committed to ensure more freedom for media and protection of journalists’ rights.
Kaira said the training provided to broadcasters in the workshop would enhance their capacity in radio for peace building. It would enable them to cater to the needs of their audiences in a more constructive manner, he added.