Pakistan

LAHORE – The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) expresses its profound shock over the complete breakdown of the distribution system of newspapers in the province consequent upon the threats issued by outlawed organisations for the first time in the history of Pakistan.

The Executive Committee of the All Pakistan Newspapers Society at its meeting held on October 26, 2017 has shown concern about the disruption of the distribution system of newspapers in the province despite clear assurances given to the publishers and hawkers by the Balochistan Administration.

The committee noted that the militant organizations are hampering the distribution of newspapers badly reflect upon the writ of Balochistan administration. The Executive Committee urged upon the Federal Government and the armed forces of Pakistan to look into the matter seriously and restore the writ of the state in the Province.

In another resolution, the Executive Committee members expressed their profound concern on the cancellation of the declaration of Daily Sahafat and Daily Dopahr, Islamabad by the District Magistrate with the involvement of the Ministry of Information.

The committee strongly condemned the high-handedness of the Islamabad administration which has grossly violated the provisions of the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance 2002 and cancelled the declarations without any prior notice.

The committee considers the action as a signal to the print media that Federal Government has chosen a path to strangulate the media by negating all democratic norms. The Executive Committee termed such acts as an attack on Freedom of Expression and reiterated that the print media would brave the situation and safeguard its rights, it earned after a long and protracted struggle.

The Executive Committee decided that if the declarations are not restored forthwith, the APNS would launch an advertising campaign in all member publications against the arbitrary action.

The committee members present from across the country noted with serious concern that the NAB authorities have arrested highly respected advertising practitioners and the most senior professionals on the charges of alleged corruption.

The APNS Executive Committee without going into the merit and demerit of the case, strongly believes that the arrest of Gulzar Ali, Salman Mansoor, Masood Hashmi and other advertising practitioners tantamount to damage the advertising sector which is an integral part of the media industry.

The APNS is of the considered opinion that these advertising practitioners had released the advertisements on the instruction of the Sindh Information Department as per routine procedures prevailing in the country and if there were any malpractices on the part of the releasing authority, the advertising agencies should not be made responsible for such acts.

The committee, therefore, demands the immediate release of advertising practitioners and immediate withdrawal of non-bailable arrest warrants of all accused belonging to advertising fraternity.

The Executive Committee considered applications of advertising agencies and decided to grant provisional accreditation to M/s. Zenith Advertising Communication (Pvt.) Ltd, Karachi, M/s. Up – Tick Ventures (Pvt.) Ltd., Karachi and M/s. Perspective Media, Lahore. The Executive Committee decided to grant separation of accreditation to M/s. Xander Communication (Pvt.) Ltd., Karachi. The Executive Committee also decided to grant restructuring of M/s. RG Blue Communications, Karachi, M/s. Velocity Marketing & Communications, Lahore and M/s. Lahore Publicity Services, Lahore.

The Executive Committee considered the reports of provincial committees and decided to grant associate membership to Daily Ummat, Peshawar, Daily Imroze, Karachi and Monthly Dental News, Karachi. The committee granted the appeal of Monthly Waij, Karachi and decided to restore its membership.

The members of the Executive Committee condoled the sad demise of Mr. Wajahat Ali, brother-in-law of Sarmad Ali and offered Fateha for the departed soul. The members also expressed their concern about the illness of Irfan Athar and prayed for his early recovery.

The meeting was attended by the following :

Sarmad Ali, President, Mehtab Khan, Vice President, Umer Mujib Shami, Secretary-General, S.M. Munir Jilani, Joint Secretary, Mumtaz A. Tahir (Daily Aftab), Muhammad Bilal Farooqi (D/Aghaz), Rehmat Ali Raazi (Weekly Azm / Daily Taaqat), Hamayun Tariq (D/Business Report), Naveed Chaudhry (D/City42), Syed Ali Hasan Naqvi (D/Dawn), Najamuddin Sheikh (D/Deyanat), Muhammad Waqaruddin (D/Dunya), Javed Mehr Shamsi (D/Kaleem), Mohammad Aslam Leghari (D/Kawish), Imtinan Shahid (D/Khabrain), Aamer Mahmood (M/Kiran Digest), Syed Mumtaz Ahmed Shah (D/Mashriq, Lhr), Bilal Mehmood (D/Nawa-i-Waqt), Inayatullah Niazi (M/Naya Rukh), Faisal Zahid Malik (D/Pakistan Observer), Dr. Waqar Yousuf Azeemi (M/Roohani Digest), Khushnood Ali Khan (D/Sahafat), Humayon Gulzar (D/Sayadat), Jamil Athar (D/Tijarat, Lhr.), Shahid Mahmood (D/Tijarati Rahber, Fsd), and Usman Arab Saati (D/Vatan Gujrati).