Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi with awardees of the 28th All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) Awards at PM Office in Islamabad on Wednesday. — PID
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi with awardees of the 28th All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) Awards at PM Office in Islamabad on Wednesday. — PID

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Wednesday said that his government did not believe in resorting to media censorship but urged the media to adopt a mechanism for self-regulation.

Speaking at the All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) Awards ceremony in Islamabad, the prime minister said media censorship was not possible in today's age of social media and the internet.

Even in the past, he said, all efforts to censor the media did not prove to be fruitful.

"You may achieve short-term gains by imposing censorship on media, but it never goes in the country's interests," he stressed.

Prime Minister Abbasi claimed that his government had discontinued the practice of using secret funds by the Intelligence Bureau for media.

He said governments of bygone days used to spend billions through IB's secret funds, but the PML-N government did not spend a single penny in this regard.

The prime minister said every government had complaints with the media, and he too had some grievances, but that the PML-N government always tried to ensure press freedom and right of expression in the country.

"We always tried not to put any pressure on journalists and not to lure them with offers. Our government made every effort to ensure freedom of expression," he claimed.

Abbasi urged media outlets to objectively highlight the government's achievements and refrain from highlighting negative news.

"Positives are always important for the country. Negative news causes concern among the masses," he said.

The prime minister said he did not want the media to always praise the government, but it should "at least apprise public about the good things the government has done for the people and the country".

He regretted that Pakistan was the only country where the government worked during the daytime and then defended itself in talk shows in the evening.

Anyone wanting to become a minister today must be a media personality and should be capable of defending his actions and performance before the media, he said.

He said in this day and age the government not only had to defend its performance, but also had to respond to all types of allegations. "If a person cannot handle media in Pakistan, no one will talk about their performance," he added.

Prime Minister Abbasi agreed that the newspaper industry was currently facing challenges and it had become difficult for print media to sustain.

He said the government wanted to support print media but cautioned that media representatives would have to be watchful to ensure that the government support does not influence press freedom and the right of expression.

To prevent this, he said, there must be a self-regulatory mechanism in media where a rebuttal or condemnation could also be accommodated in newspapers.

Like free and fair elections, the country also needed a free and fair press, the prime minister concluded.



Crime against humanity
Updated 03 Dec 2021

Crime against humanity

The government has yet to fulfil its long-standing pledge to criminalise enforced disappearances.
03 Dec 2021

Revised valuations

THE revised property valuations notified by the FBR for 40 cities for the purpose of collecting federal taxes —...
03 Dec 2021

PWD await rights

ON the International Day of Disabled Persons, it is important to take stock of how far Pakistan has come in ensuring...
02 Dec 2021

Funding for polls

THE PTI government’s autocratic mentality is again on full display, even as it feigns adherence to the law....
02 Dec 2021

Soaring prices

PRICES are surging. And they are increasing at a much faster pace than anticipated, burdening millions of...
Ali Wazir’s bail
Updated 02 Dec 2021

Ali Wazir’s bail

IT has been a long time coming, but MNA and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement leader Ali Wazir has finally been granted bail...