CPNE praises CJP for defending freedom of speech

LAHORE – An emergency meeting of the Council of Newspaper Editors (CPNE) was held in Lahore to review overall prevailing situation in different spheres of life especially in the media.

The participants of the meeting, representing major newspaper organisations, expressed serious concern over threats faced by press freedom and journalist community and inaction of authorities concerned.

The meeting was chaired by CPNE’s former president Mujibur Rehman Shami and attended by Rameeza Majid Nizami (Nawa-i-Waqt Group), Jameel Athar (Jurrat), Sohail Warraich (Jang Group), Altaf Hasan Qureshi (Urdu Digest), Mahmood Sadiq (Din), Umar Shami (Pakistan), Syed Mumtaz Shah (Mashriq), Naveed Chaudhry (City 42), Mumtaz Tahir (Aftab), Salim Bokhari (The Nation), Salman Ghani (Dunya) and Sajad Bokhari (Abtak).

The first item that came under discussion was the historic and appreciable initiative of the chief justice of Pakistan for taking suo motu on the decision of the Lahore High Court banning anti-judiciary speeches being aired by television channels and printed by newspapers.

The participants were of the view that by such daring actions the chief justice would be seen as a flag-bearer of the freedom of the press and his role would go down in history. The participants also urged upon the chief justice to take notice of the complaints by some media groups and play a decisive role in upholding freedom of expression in the country. There was a consensus that activities of some CPNE members and office-bearers were in contrast to the aims and objective of the council at a time when the media was facing serious challenges.

The participants of the meeting were of the candid view that the CPNE was a representative body of professional editors and the focus of its activities should remain to its jurisdiction. By no means should it indulge in any business activity.

The meeting also decided to hold similar meetings in Karachi and Islamabad to take members on board in an attempt to ensure that CPCE was allowed to work in the right direction.