Pakistani media freest in the world

LAHORE: The Pakistani media is one of the freest in the world and the credit for its freedom goes to President Pervez Musharraf’s liberal policies, Governor Salmaan Taseer said while talking to a delegation of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) at the Governor’s House on Saturday.

Taseer lamented that the media was working under pressure of advertisers and market forces despite being given a fee hand by the government. He expressed the fear that in the coming years only five to seven channels would be able to come up to the expectations of advertisers. He said Pakistan Times, Imroze and Lailo Nahar were symbols of freedom of expression.

The governor said that during the martial law of 1958, these papers had been taken over by the National Press Trust, adding that the government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gave journalists the chance to perform their duties in 1970. He said journalism was victimised again during the regime of Gen Ziaul Haq.

The governor also hosted a dinner in honour of the delegation, which was headed by IFJ Secretary General Aiden White and included journalists from Pakistan, Australia, Sri Lanka and India.

IFJ Secretary General Aiden White praised the Lahoris’ hospitality and said that his tour had been a pleasant experience.

Source: Daily Times, 3/8/2008

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