The Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) on Wednesday unanimously declared that closure of any mediahouse or cancellation of licence or declaration of any channel or publication will not be acceptable as it is not in the national interest.
Any such action will tantamount to a grave crisis and will do irreparable harm to the democratic Pakistan.
The meeting was chaired by Mujibur Rehman Shami, president of CPNE.
The CPNE further resolved that sanctity of defence as well as media institutions is equally important as both are national institutions.
“It was further resolved that Pakistan Armed Forces and Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) are our vital national institutions and it is our collective responsibility to defend and safeguard their honor and dignity,” the meeting said.
The meeting called upon all the mediahouses to show responsibility while reporting/commenting about these vital security organisations. The meeting also discussed at length the recent reference filed by the Defence Ministry with PEMRA and expressed satisfaction that the government and aggrieved national institutions have taken a legal course instead of taking an arbitrary decision. However, the meeting expressed concerns over the present constitution of PEMRA and showed apprehensions regarding its ability to deliver a just and fair decision due to its ad hoc structure.
The meeting flayed the attack on TV journalist Hamid Mir and demanded that the government take action to ensure the safety of all journalists. The meeting also declared that the right to freedom of speech is enshrined in the constitution and the state should provide adequate protection to the journalists against life threats emanating from any quarters. The meeting praised the federal government and Sindh government decision to form a judicial commission and joint investigation team for the investigation of this attack and expressed hope that perpetrators will be brought to justice without any fear or favor.
The meeting appealed to all the media organizations including APNS, PBA and PFUJ to unite at this hour of need and subside the tensions between different media organizations. The meeting further requested these organizations to play their role in creating harmony and solidarity among media houses and work together for the safety and protection of press freedom and journalists.
The meeting also expressed concerns over reports of life threats to journalist Iftikar Ahmad and other mediapersons and demanded that the government take immediate action in this regard.
The meeting was attended by Arif Nizami (Pakistan Today), Shaheen Qureshi (Jang Group), Imtiaz Alam (South Asia Journal), Salman Ghani (Daily Dunya), Umer Shami (Daily Pakistan), Khalid Qayyum (Daily Express), Mumtaz Tahir (Daily Aftab), Sajjad Bukhari (Daily AbTak), Naveed Chaudhry (Daily City 42), Baidar Sarmadi (Daily Front), Baidar Bakht Butt (Daily Jang), Mr Hafiz Iqbal (Daily Insaf), Munawarul Hasan (Daily Musawat), Khalid Farooqi (Daily Awaz), Zulfiqar Lodhi (Daily Tijarat), Asghar Ali (Daily Jurrat), Siddique Asghar (The News), Adeel Niaz (Jahangir Times), Asad Kashif Adeeb Jawadani (Moon Digest), Munir Ahmad (Musawwar International) and Taufique Rehman (Daily Saadat).