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Govt committed to protect journalists: Sherry

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ISLAMABAD: The Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ms Sherry Rehman has said that the government is committed to the protection of journalists, and there would be no violation of media freedom and independence in the PPP Government’s term.

“The fundamental difference between an authoritarian system and a democratic structure is that democracies endeavor to strengthen institutions that support a representative order. The current democratic government would neither supervise nor would allow any action that violates public’s right to freedom of information< /blockquote> ” said Ms Sherry Rehman commenting on a report analyzing media freedom in Pakistan in year 2008.

“At any given point, the state-media relations are determined by the state’s commitment to the fundamental and democratic rights of the citizens. Unfortunately, in the past years, the element of distrust has largely dominated the state-media equation. Our government is committed to dismantle structures that support violence against media for political gains. We wish to build trust between institutions and one of the most important steps in this regard is the revocation of all anti-media laws and reiteration of our media freedom commitment through policy actions.”

Ms Sherry Rehman said that Pakistan cannot afford to allow regressive forces to influence and manipulate the systems of the state. “It is our collective responsibility to fight the elements that seek to undermine our democratic aspirations. The Pakistani nation has paid a heavy price for the restoration of democracy and the state as well as the media must counter forces that have repeatedly trampled our constitutional rights. On February 18, we all pledged our support for democracy. We have a responsibility to the country as well as to ourselves to safeguard and promote structures that make democracy a sustainable system in Pakistan. I would urge all journalists who feel threatened to get in touch with the ministry. “

Expressing her government’s resolve to protect the right to freedom of information, the Federal Information Minister said that the media must work with the government to fight the anti-media forces.

“It is the responsibility of the state to provide protection to the media. After years of authoritarian interventions, Pakistan finally has a government that is committed to investing in media freedom. The government and the media must work together to strengthen a culture of tolerance, understanding, and free and responsible information flow as we both have stakes in an independent media environment.”-SANA

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