LAHORE (PR) - Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) in its meeting here on Sunday rejected all those steps of the government that could put fetters on journalism and right of expression.

The meeting of the Standing Committee of the CPNE chaired by CPNE President Jamil Athar Qazi was also attended by veteran journalist and Editor-in-Chief Nawa-i-Waqt Group Majid Nizami on special invitation.

Addressing the participants, Majid Nizami said that CPNE with reference to its role for freedom of the Press was the apex body that had always reflected the wisdom and consciousness of the Editors of the country.

He stated that Press was the fourth pillar of the State which should be strong and stable like other organs such as judiciary, legislative and executive.

CPNE President Jamil Athar Qazi, Senior Vice President Qazi Asad Abid, Secretary General Ilyas Shakir, Syed Fasih Iqbal, Altaf Hassan Qureshi, Mujeebur Rehman Shami, Mehtab Khan, Mumtaz A Tahir, Sardar Khan Niazi, Wasim Ahmad, Javaid Mehr Shamsi, Syed Muhammad Munir Jeela, Shaheen Qureshi, Mukhtar Aqil and Najamuddin Sheikh spoke on the occasion.

CPNE President Jamil Athar Qazi said that it was lamentable and a matter of deep concern for CPNE that the government was trying to lower dignity of the print and the electronic media with certain steps out of which some were secret and some made public by it.

He said efforts were being made to bring electronic media into some restrictions while to put pressure on print media.

‘It had been decided by the government not to give advertisements of the Election Commission of Pakistan and PEPCO to newspapers’, he said.

He said the CPNE would safeguard freedom of the Press at any cost.

He said at a time when the general elections were about to come in the country, the CPNE would resist any attempt to curtail the independent role of the print media  and foil all conspiracies hatched to deprive newspapers from advertisements of Election Commission and PEPCO.

He said any attempt to make the print media weaker would cause harm to the right of freedom of the Press which was obligatory in a democratic society and guaranteed in the Constitution.

He demanded of the government to give equal advertisements to the print and electronic media of all its government institutions particularly of the Election Commission of Pakistan and PEPCO.

In his address Majeebur Rehman Shami blamed some private television channels of telecasting vulgar and objectionable programmes.

He stressed the need of stopping publication of objectionable and nasty material in newspapers ,adding, that the print media should also work to put electronic media in the right direction.

The meeting also reposed confidence in the present office-bearers of the CPNE and resolved that they should continue in their offices till final decision of the pending cases in courts.

The Standing Committee meeting of the CPNE expressed its deep sense of shock over the sad demise of Shaukat Hussain Shaukat Editor Daily Afaq and Maqbool Hussain Maqbool Editor K-@ Gilgat and prayed that may Allah Almighty rest their souls in eternal peace and give courage to the bereaved family to suffer this loss.

The participants also prayed for the early recovery of Abdul Rashid Ghazi Editor Daily Business Report Faisalabad. In the beginning Iftikhar Danish recited verses of Holy Quran.

Those attended the meeting included Senior Vice President Qazi Asad Abid (Ibrat), Mumtaz Tahir Vice President (Aftab), Wasim Ahmad Vice President (Awam), Joint Secretary Javaid Mehr Shamsi (Kaleem) Secretary Finance Mushtaq Ahmad Qureshi( Nai Ufaq), and Standing Committee members Anwar Farooqi (Aghaz), Mehtab Khan (Ausaf), Syed Fasih Iqbal (Balochistan Times), Saeeda Fazal (Business Recorder), Najamuddin Sheikh (Diyanat), Mian Habibullah (Din), Shaheen Qureshi (Jang), Mukhtar Aqil (Jurat- Karachi), Sardar Khan Niazi ( Nia Rukh), Rukhsana Soulat Saleemi (|Nikhar), Syed Muhammad Munir Jillani( Paigham), Mujeebur Rehman Shami (Pakistan), Ameequr Rehman Saifi (Saadat), Hamayun Gulzar (Siadat), Altaf Hussain Qureshi (Urdu Digest), Irfan Athar Qazi ( Jurat-Lahore), Sheikh Danish Iftikhar (Asas), Sheikh Iftikhar Adil (Asas- Rawalpindi) while Aniqur Rehman Saifi (Saadat) and Mian Akbar Ali ( Khabrain-Lahore) attended the meeting as observers.

Zia Shahid, Chief Editor of Khabrain Group of Newspapers could not attend the meeting due to his sudden illness.