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Call to constitute Af-Pak joint media commission

Call to constitute Af-Pak joint media commission

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Aug 23, 2017 - 14:56

ISLAMABAD (Pajhwok): Afghan and Pakistani journalists have demanded the creation of a joint media commission to promote closer interaction between media representatives from the neighbouring countries.

The call came at a meeting at the Nawa-i-Waqt House in Islamabad, attended by a delegation of Afghan journalists, their Pakistani counterparts and information officials. Both sides underlined journalists’ role in strengthening bilateral relations.

Javid Siddiq, director of Nawa-i-Waqt Group of Publications, welcomed Afghan journalists and believed them on the freedom of the press in Pakistaninfo-icon. He believed media could play a positive role in shaping foreign policies of the two countries.

He said the press freedom had a long history in Pakistan, something that remarkably helped in bringing reforms and development to that country.

Afghan freelance journalist, Wahidullah Ghazikhel, said only free media represented the nations. The media could play its role in correcting government policies and strengthening relations between the two nations, he said.

Ghazikhel agreed creation of a joint media commission was needed to organise activities of journalist between the two countries and work together on issues of common interest.

If it was not possible in a short period of time or at the government level, then journalists of the two countries can begin work in this regard through social media and joint groups, Afghan delegates suggested.

Another Afghan journalist, Sharif Hasanyar, said he had previously shared the issue with Pakistani media representatives and joint work on the issue was underway.

Pakistan’s Information and Culture Ministry official Shafaqat Jalil, in response to the visiting delegation’s request to lift the ban on Afghan television channels, said they would remove the restrictions if they paid taxed and follow certain procedures.

Former BBC reporter and analyst in Islamabad, Tahir Khan, said close relations between journalists of the two countries could help improve relations between neighbouring countries.

“Afghan and Pakistani governments are often at odds and the media outlets follow their stance and don’t discharge their responsibility to improve bilateral relations,” he regretted.

mds/mud

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