LAHORE (APP) - Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Friday asked Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Muhammad Iqbal Khan to allow debate on Seraiki province in the Provincial Assembly by admitting a pending requisition submitted by 13 members from southern Punjab on the subject. Talking to media persons at an Iftar dinner hosted by her for senior journalists, intellectuals and representatives of the civil society here, Dr Firdous said no place could be better than the Punjab Assembly to discuss and debate the issue of new provinces. Veteran journalists Majid Nizami, Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami, Zia Shahid, Amjad Islam Amjad, Munno Bhai, Abdul Rauf and Sohail Warraich were present among others from print as well as electronic media in the dinner. The Information Minister said that the issue of new provinces was open for debate to the mediamen if the Punjab Assembly Speaker denied the members their constitutional and legal right of taking up the issue in the House. She urged the Speaker to allow debate on the Seraiki province during the forthcoming session. To a query, she said that all the political parties, including the PML-N (Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz ) had been taken into confidence on the creation of a new province in the country. Regarding Karachi situation, Firdous said that stability in the Sindh metropolis was vital for the country. Frontier Constabulary and other law enforcement agencies were playing their due role to maintain peace in the mega city, she said. The Information Minister said that the government would ensure such a solution of the Karachi situation which would be acceptable to all political forces in the city. The Information Minister made a special mention of the efforts of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani in engaging political leadership for durable peace in Karachi. Lauding the role of the media, she said that the media had so far fulfilled its responsibilities of correcting the law and order situation in Karachi, adding that an inadvertent mistake on the issue could be dangerous for all stakeholders. Firdous said that media must thwart the attempts by certain elements, who highlight Karachi situation as a linguistic issue or a matter of provincialism. She dispelled the misperception that change of management at ATV would harm the interests of the workers, reassuring the interests of the ATV/STN workers would be protected at all costs. Earlier, addressing the journalist the Information Minister said the government wished the media to present a soft-image of Pakistani society across the globe, adding that the PPP government has always hailed criticism-for-reconstruction by the media. The Minister called upon the media to evolve a self-regulatory mechanism to regulate itself, acknowledging the fact that the Parliament as well as the media were passing through the evolutionary process in the country. Firdous said that the government wishes to empower the media by creating an ideal conducive environment for it, adding that the media should also do its share in rebuilding of civil society and improving the image of the country. Regarding bridging the gap between the print and electronic media, she said Electronic Media Directorate has been set up at Press Information Department (PID) Islamabad and similar directorates would be established at all provincial headquarters. The Information Minister said Press Council has been established to enhance consultation with the media. She also invited opinion of mediamen on the appointment of Chairman, Press Council, adding that the vacancy would be filled soon with a suitable person. Terming Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilanis dialogue with civil society a remarkable success, Firdous said that he would incorporate opinion of the civil society as well as the media in his address on the August 14.