ISLAMABAD - Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal, and Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata jointly inaugurated the newly installed 500 kw medium wave transmitter here on Friday.

Radio Pakistan has formally launched programmes from its new digital transmitter set up with the technical and financial assistance of Japan. Speaking on the occasion, Ahsan Iqbal thanked the Japanese government for its magnanimous support for the rehabilitation of Radio Pakistan's MW network.

He said this token of goodwill from Japan would be remembered as the airwaves from this network continue to reach the listeners. He pointed out that several information sources were available to the people in today's world including private radio and TV channels, Internet and satellite technology. Due to technological development access to information has become very easy, he said.

He said keeping in view the changing trends, the State-owned media institutions would have to bring excellence in their work and adapt to latest technology to better compete in the market.

Ahsan Iqbal said the government on its part was working to modernise its broadcasting outlets through technological adoption and capacity building of human resource.

He said political stability was essential to put the country on the path of sustainable development. He said negative politics would not serve the purpose to alleviate poverty and unemployment.

He said the calls of shutting down country's exports hubs Lahore, Karachi and Faisalabad would put adverse impact on the economy.

Speaking on the occasion, Japanese Ambassador Hiroshi Inomata pointed out that Radio Broadcasting was still a major source of information, particularly in remote areas.

He noted that rehabilitation of medium wave network would enable Radio Pakistan to reach out to maximum people in Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. He expressed the confidence that better access to information on issues such as health, nutrition, economic activities and natural disasters would improve people's lives and thereby contribute to stability of the country.  

In his remarks, Chief Representative of JICA Mitsuyoshi Kawasaki said his agency was looking forward to close coordination with the PBC in future for dissemination of knowledge for livelihood improvement and people's awareness in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.  Earlier, in her welcome address, Director General Radio Pakistan Samina Pervez briefed the audience about the project. She said the project had been completed in the given  timeframe. She said that 14 hours transmission would be broadcast from the new transmitter in Urdu and six regional languages.

She said the lifeline project would have lasting  impact on the PBC's broadcast and help achieve the objective of national integration through wider reach to the people.

The Minister for Planning and Development and the Information Minister also visited the renovated Master Control Room of the PBC. They were briefed about the digital equipment installed at the control room.