PESHAWAR, Dec 10: US Consulate General in Peshawar Robert Reed on Monday called for closer contacts between Pakistani and Afghan journalists and said better interaction would help improve the relations between the two countries and give boost to the efforts for sustainable peace in the region.
He was speaking during the inaugural ceremony of a three-day Pak-Afghan Journalists Conference at a local hotel.
The event organised by Centre for Free Media was attended by around 50 journalists from both the countries.
Mr Reed said the independent media was not only important for democracy but it would also help resolve social and economic problems.
He said the region was very dangerous for journalists but Pakistani media was playing its role very responsibly.
The US envoy said keeping in view the changing scenario, Afghan media had also changed policy. He added that media could play vital role in restoration of peace if journalists extended mutual coordination.
Senior provincial minister Bashir Ahmad Bilour said journalists in both the countries suffered heavily in the line of duty. He said if the democratic process continued, media would also get boost in the country.
Earlier, senior journalist Shaukat Khattak highlighted the objectives of the conference and said media persons of the two countries needed closer, cordial relations to resolve bilateral problems.
He said the conference would continue at the centre on Tuesday and Wednesday where scholars would present papers on different aspects of media.
Khyber Union of Journalists president Arshad Aziz Malik, Cultural Attaché of Afghan Consulate Parveen Malal, Peshawar Press Club president Saiful Islam Saifi and Afghan journalist Babrak Miankhel also spoke on the occasion.