KARACHI - The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) on Wednesday paid tributes to late Majid Nizami, former editor-in-chief of Nawa-i-Waqt Group.

The Executive Committee members offered Fateha and expressed their profound grief over the sad demise of veteran colleague. APNS Secretary General Sarmad Ali stated that the APNS, in collaboration with the CPNE, will hold a National Reference at Lahore to highlight the role and services of Majid Nizami at the end of August, wherein the Prime Minister has been requested to attend as chief guest.

The Executive Committee members, across the country, noted with concern that the Federal government had failed to honour its commitments made by the Information minister in writing. The Federal government had assured to clear the dues of member publications against the Information Ministry and the outstanding bills of devolved ministries. The non-payment of dues has badly affected the economies of member publications especially smaller and medium sized newspapers. The members dismayed that the Federal government also not honoured its commitments to increase government advertisement rates pending for last two years.

The Executive Committee of the APNS considered the report of the Punjab Committee and noted that despite the directives of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, the committee formed by him held deliberations without consulting APNS which was a clear violation of the written directives issued by the CM. The committee also noted that the DGPR was allocating provincial advertisements to non-APNS publications without adhering the advertisement policy. It demanded that the DGPR be directed to release its advertisements to Metropolitan B, regional newspapers and periodicals as per quota agreed with the APNS. It was noted that the newspapers from Faisalabad and Bahawalpur were being denied display advertisements.

The Executive Committee members flayed the Punjab government on the levy of Sales Tax on the newspapers contrary to the assurances made by the chief minister and were of the considered opinion that such unwise actions of the bureaucracy will further adversely reflect upon the relations between the Punjab government and the print media.

The Executive Committee also considered the report of Balochistan Committee, wherein it was noted that the Balochistan government has not yet evolved any advertising policy for releasing its advertisements on merit and judicious basis. The committee urged upon the Balochistan CM that a provincial advertisement policy be formed in consultation with the APNS so that the government advertisements are released to genuine publications on merit.

The committee noted that the indifference of the Sindh government to clear the long outstanding dues of member publications contrary to the commitments made by the Sindh CM. The members, based in Sindh, reported that the advertisements are being released by the Sindh Information ministry on the personal whims and wishes of the officials and the genuine publications were being denied of their due share. The committee urged upon the Sindh CM to honour his commitments and direct the Information ministry to observe merit and transparency in release of advertisements. The committee also approved the change of publisher of Daily Al-Fajr, Quetta.

The committee considered the applications for associate membership on the recommendations of respective provincial committees and decided to grant associate membership to Daily Dunya Faisalabad, Daily Dunya Karachi, Daily Dunya, Gujranwala, Daily Jehan-e-Pakistan Karachi, Daily Jehan-e-Pakistan Lahore, Daily Nai Baat, Islamabad, Daily Nai Baat Karachi, Daily Safeer-e-Punjab Multan, Daily Sarwan Karachi and  Daily Ash-Sharq, Lahore. The meeting was attended by APNS President Hameed Haroon, Secretary General Sarmad Ali, Joint Secretary SM Munir Jilani, Mumtaz A Tahir, Bilal Farooqui, Dr Jabbar Khattak, Rahmat Ali Raazi, Shahab A Zuberi, Umar Shahzad Khan, Najamuddin Sheikh, Aijaz-ul-Haq, Kazi Asad Abid, Javed Mehr Shamsi, Mian Akbar Ali, Aamer Mahmood, Mushtaq A Qureshi, Rameeza Majid Nizami, Salman Qureshi, Faisal Zahid Malik, Dr Waqar Yousuf Azeemi, Humayon Gulzar, Irfan Ather and Riaz Ahmed Mansuri.

CPNE President Mujib-ur-Rahman Shami and Masood Hamid of Daily Dawn attended the meeting on special invitation.