KARACHI: Speakers at a seminar on ‘Importance of Media in Promoting Inter Provincial Harmony’ have agreed on a point that the media in Pakistan is losing neutrality at a very fast pace and expresses fear that if the trend continues for four to five years it will lose its credibility.

The seminar was organised by the Sindh Interprovincial Coordination (IPC) Department here on Friday. Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination Nawab Taimor Talpur was the chief guest.

Speakers called upon all stakeholders to take notice of the alarming trend and take immediate steps to discourage non-professionalism and anti-journalism trends to save the nation-building institution.

Addressing the seminar, senior journalists and former Karachi Press Club president Imtiaz Khan Farhan said that executive, judiciary and armed forces had been mentioned as three pillars of the state in constitution of Pakistan; however journalism was not given the status of fourth pillar officially.

He was of opinion that the media and journalism were two different subjects and added that journalists were performing their responsibilities. Farhan added that political, cultural and economical gap between the federating units had widened and said that media should play its role to bridge the gap. He said that constant dialogue process should be started among the people of Pakistan to bring them close to each other and added that the IPC Ministry’s role was very vital in this regard.

He appreciated the IPC Department for organising the dialogue and said experts and scholars from other parts of country should have been invited.

Prof Azadi Burfat said that cultural diversity was a beauty of Pakistan .Issues among the people emerged in diversity and she stressed that harmony amongst the federating units was need of the hour for the progress of the country. “Our media is losing neutrality and if this trend continues for four to five years it will lose its credibility, which will be devastating for the development of society and deprive people of the nation-building institution.”

She said that it was the responsibility of the media to give equal importance to issues and problems of every city and part of country and added that mainstream media only focus on Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad for ratings.

She said that the media was creating hype and fear. “We scare even to visit our own cities such as Peshawar and Quetta; however, when we visit these cities we find that the people are living a normal life.” In his address, Special Assistant to Sindh Chief Minister for Inter Provincial Coordination Nawab Taimor Talpur announced that federal government would be approached to declare journalism the fourth pillar of the state officially. He said that he would apprise the Sindh chief minister to the demanded of the journalist community to raise the matter at the federal level.

He was of view that the Interprovincial Coordination Department was an important arm of the governments of all federating units after the Council of Common Interest; however the IPC Department of the federal government and in all provinces “remained unsuccessful in achieving targets as envisaged at a time of their formation for one reason or another”. Nawab Taimor Talpur announced to organise a dialogue of media persons soon for promoting harmony amongst the federating units and added guests from Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir would be invited. IPC Secretary Shariq Ahmed, civil society activist Fozia Khan and others also spoke on the occasion.

Senior journalists, civil society representatives and officials of Interprovincial Coordination Department attended the seminar. At the end, Nawab Taimur Talpur gave away shields to speakers and organisers of the seminar. –Courtesy Daily Times

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