MIRPUR (AJK) - Azad Jammu and Kashmir Information Secretary Shoukat Majeed Mallick said on Monday that over Rs45 million had been released to the PID for onward disbursement of advertisement bills to national print media, pending against various AJK government and autonomous departments since past many years.

“The much-awaited amounts of the advertisement bills pending against various AJK government and semi-government departments will be paid by the PID to the national and the AJK State print media within next couple of weeks”, Shoukat Majeed Mallick said while talking to members of Kashmir Press Club here this afternoon.

He was flanked by PID Divisional Director (Information) Raja Azher Iqbal, Information Officer Javed Mallick, Muhammad Saghir and other officials of the department.

Press Club President Syed Abid Hussain Shah, Secretary General Sajaad Haider Jiraal, Senior Journalists Altaf Hamid Rao, Hafiz Muhammad Maqsood, Syed Qamar Hayat, Sohrab Ahmed Khan, Raja Habib Ullah and others highlighted the problems being faced by the local media men.

The visit of the AJK Secretary Information to the local press club was aimed at to stock of the local journalists problems.

On complaints about the alleged ineffective and biased approach of certain elected office-bearers of the AJK Press Foundation vis-à-vis disbursement of welfare funds to the eligible and deserving members of the Press Foundation, he said that the Press Foundation Chairman would be apprised of the views and healthy suggestions of the working journalists to ensure making the Foundation a vibrant and objective-oriented institution.

The Information Secretary disclosed that the government had got made the group life insurance of all the AJK-based accredited journalists. “The eligible depends of the accredited journalists would be paid an amount of Rs0.3million per family in case of the death of any such journalist”, he pointed out. Shoukat Majeed Mallick added that under the spirit to make AJK PID a vibrant institution, an integrated plan was being evolved to promote and strengthen relationship between the AJK government and media to create harmony and pinpoint irritants in the way of progress and prosperity.

“The proposed plan involve inter-district, inter-provincial and intra-Kashmir study trips of the AJK journalists to strengthen and improve their professional skills and potential to enable them serve the nation and country through professional activities”, he claimed.