The APNS expressed its concern over the statement of a spokesman of Tahreek-e-Taliban, Pakistan wherein the media persons and establishments were threatened of dire consequences, stated a press release of APNS.
Mr. Masood Hamid, Secretary General of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society has stated that the Executive Committee of the APNS at its meeting held on October 15, 2012 at Karachi under the chairmanship of its President, Sarmad Ali, considered the threats issued by Taliban against the media. The APNS stated that such threats to the media were aimed at to curb the freedom of press and browbeat the voice of the people to force it to accept the dictates of different political and militant groups.
The Executive Committee resolved that such threats or any militant action cannot stop media to discharge its professional duties to disseminate the news and views to the public. The media in Pakistan has remained the watch dog of the Peoples Right to Know even in dictatorial regimes and would continue to brave the threats to its freedom attained after a protracted struggle. The Executive Committee urged upon the Federal Government and especially, the Ministry of Interior to provide foolproof security to the media establishments as well as the media persons to ensure that no cowardly attempt from any quarter would harm the innocent people.
In another resolution, the Executive Committee of the APNS reiterated its demands to the Prime Minister of Pakistan that the Centralized Media Policy be withdrawn forthwith and a dialogue with APNS be initiated to frame a policy suitable to all stakeholders. The Executive Committee observed that it was unfortunate that in a democratic era, especially after the enactment of 18th Amendment, the devolution process is being implemented, the Ministry of Information has chosen to implement highly over Centralized Media Policy framed by the Martial Law Administrator, General Ayub Khan. The Executive Committee was of the considered opinion that this policy was not suited to any stakeholder but those vested interests who intend to manipulate the forthcoming elections. The Executive Committee decided to request the Prime Minister for an early meeting on the issue.
The Executive Committee was briefed that to resolve the long pending dispute between the Punjab Government and M/s. Midas (Pvt.) Ltd., the request for a meeting of the APNS committee has been consented by the Chief Minister, Punjab, Mian Shahbaz Sharif. The Executive Committee hoped that the committee would shortly meet the Chief Minister and the issue would be resolved amicably. The Executive Committee authorized the President and the Secretary General, APNS to take further steps to safeguard the interest of the newspaper industry in light of the outcome of the meeting.
The Executive Committee noted with concern that the Punjab Government has decided to impose 16% GST on advertisements of newspapers. It noted that this would badly affect the economies of newspapers which are already facing financial crunch due to shrinkage of market in the crisis ridden economy. The Executive Committee formed a committee consisting of Ms. Rameeza Majid Nizami and Mr. Umer Mujib Shami to take up the issue with the Punjab Government for exemption of newspapers and magazines from the regime of GST.
The Executive Committee was briefed on the proceedings of contempt of court against Mr. Mohsin J. Baig, Chief Editor, Daily Pulse, Islamabad in the Supreme Court. The Executive Committee discussed the matter in detail and authorized Mr. Khushnood Ali Khan to represent the APNS point of view on the matter in the Supreme Court.
The Executive Committee approved the report of the Secretary General on the preparation being made for South Asian Media Summit scheduled on January 15-16, 2013 at Islamabad. The Executive Committee was satisfied that the visit of the APNS delegation to India and Sri Lanka was successful wherein a large number of media dignitaries have agreed to attend the Summit. The Executive Committee also appreciated that World Association of Newspapers and Publishers (WAN-IFRA), Indian Newspapers Society (INS), Sri Lankan Newspapers Society, Bangladesh Newspapers Association and International Newspapers Media Association (INMA) have endorsed the Summit.
The Executive Committee was reported that on October 10, 2012, a gang of six dacoits attacked the premises of Daily Deyanat, Karachi and looted the staff on gun point. The Executive Committee requested the Chief Minister, Sindh to provide security to newspaper establishments so that the media persons may perform their duties without any fear.
After the meeting, Maulana Fazal-ur-Rahman of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam visited the APNS House and met the members of the Executive Committee. He discussed the political situation in the country and explained the point of view of his Party. He appreciated that the APNS has constructed a very beautiful building to host its headquarters which represents the stature of the newspaper industry.
The meeting was attended by the following :
Sarmad Ali, President, Mehtab Khan, Senior Vice President, Ms. Rameeza Majid Nizami, Vice President, Masood Hamid, Secretary General, Javed Mehr Shamsi, Finance Secretary, Mumtaz A. Tahir (D/Aftab), Anwar Farooqui (D/Aghaz), Waseem Ahmed (D/Awam, Quetta), Dr. Jabbar Khattak (D/Awami Awaz), Rahmat Ali Raazi (Weekly Azm), Arshad A. Zuberi (D/Business Recorder), Humayon Tariq (D/Business Report), Najamuddin Sheikh (D/Deyanat), Kazi Mustafa Asad Abbasi (D/Ibrat), Mukhtar Aqil (D/Jurat, Khi), Muhammad Asif Muqri (D/Kainat), Muhammad Aslam Kazi, (D/Kawish), Aamer Mahmood (Monthly Kiran), Mian Akbar Ali (D/Khabrain), Syed Ayaz Badshah (D/Mashriq Peshawar), Mushtaq A. Qureshi (M/Naey Ufaq), Inayatullah NIazi (M/Naya Rukh), Syed Muhammad Munir Jilani (D/Paigham), Faisal Zahid Malik (D/Pakistan Observer), Arif Nizami (D/Pakistan Today), Ilyas Shakir (D/Qaumi Akhbar), Dr. Waqar Yousuf Azeemi (M/Roohani Digest), Khushnood Ali Khan (D/Sahafat), Riaz Ahmed Mansuri (M/The Cricketer) and Jamil Ather (D/Tijarat, Lahore).
Ali Hasan Naqvi (D/Dawn), Umar Shahzad Khan (D/Wahdat), Uzma Zia Rizvi (D/Jang) and Mr. Iqbal (D/Deyanat) attended the meeting as special observers.