ISLAMABAD: The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) termed the draft of advertisement policy of the government as against the freedom of expression and tantamount to controlling and limiting the media freedom by killing small news outlets financially. It also said the new draft is aimed at subduing the freedom of expression to the government through centralisation
According to the statement, the APNS meeting on Monday was held to discuss the draft of the government’s advertisements’ policy. The Special Advisor to the PM, Iftikhar Durrani, attended the meeting at the APNS request. The president of the APNS, Hameed Haroon, Secretary General Sarmad Ali, Vice-President Mehtab Khan, Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami, Rameeza Majeed Nazami and others expressed their reservations over the draft. The Adviser to the PM, Iftikhar Durrani, assured the APNS that the government would take all possible steps for the progress of the media and to safeguard the freedom of expression. On this account, he added that all concerns of the newspapers and magazines would be addressed through mutual understanding. He said the draft was only forwarded to the APNS to elicit their opinion which would only be finalised after mutual consultations.
President APNS Hameed Haroon, Vice-President Mehtab Khan, Secretary General Sarmad Ali, Joint-Secretary Bilal Mehmood, Finance Secretary Waseem Ahmed, Mumtaz A Tahir (Daily Aftab), Rehmat Ali Raazi (Weekly Azm/Daily Taqat), Humayun Tariq (Daily Business Report, Faisal), Naveed Chaudhry (Daily City 42), Syed Akbar Tahir ( Daily Jasarat), Javed Mehr Shamsi (Daily Kaleem), Abdul Jabbar (Daily Kawish), Syed Ayaz Badshah (Daily Mashriq Peshawar), Syed Mumtaz Ahmed Shah (Daily Mashriq Quetta), Sardar Khan Niazi (Monthly Nea Rukh), Rukhsana Saulat Saleemi (Weekly Nikhar), Syed Muhammad Munir Jillani (Daily Paigham), and Gohar Zahid Malik (Daily Pakistan Observer) attended the meeting.