KARACHI: Former president and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari has said the media should promote democracy wholeheartedly so that Pakistan makes rapid progress.
Speaking as chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of a conference organised by the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) at the Governor House on Friday, Mr Zardari said that over the years Pakistani journalists had rendered a lot of sacrifices for the cause of democracy and freedom of the press. However, a lot of work still needed to be done.
The PPP chief said the social media would soon leave the print and electronic media far behind because no obstacle could now bar its path to progress.
He said that like his party his government had always upheld the principles of freedom of the press and even though certain news organisations tried to make him controversial his government never tried to suppress them.
He said his attention had been drawn to non-payment of salaries by certain newspapers and television channels and announced that Sindh government had been asked to link payment of advertisement bills to the payment of salaries by the media houses.
Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, in his capacity as chief patron of the event, welcomed journalists from home and abroad to the Governor House for the conference.
He said the objective of the three-day conference — titled “One world, One Media” — was to provide a platform to the media community to defend the freedom of expression and human rights.
In his speech, IFJ President Jim Boumelha pointed out that in the last 10 years over 100 Pakistani journalists had been killed in the line of duty.
PFUJ President Rana Azeem, General Secretary Amin Yusuf, MQM leader Khwaja Izhar-ul-Hasan and KUJ President G.M. Jamali also spoke on the occasion.