PR Karachi - The All Pakistan Newspapers Society has carefully analyzed the state of the present media and has expressed its apprehensions at the existence of some very real threats to press freedom in the ongoing transition to the 2018 general elections.

Of particular concern is the dangerously fluid position in which press organizations find themselves, largely due to the intervention of forces external to newspapers themselves.

“The APNS vows to resist all such attempts to create disunity and confusion in the free press and disparages attempts to exacerbate such influences,” says a press release.

“Year 2018 is a precarious year for the functioning of Article 19 of the Constitution, which ensures freedom of the press. In this contentious atmosphere certain press bodies are attempting to encroach on APNS’s sphere of decision making,” the press release says further.

Press bodies have specific functions allocated to them. The sphere of influence of the APNS is based on its ability to represent the interest of 379 newspapers and 86 periodicals. The APNS sphere of decision making is defined by matters pertaining to the freedom of press and freedom of expression; to commercial matters relating to newspaper advertising and recoveries of dues; to newspaper circulations and matters pertaining to distribution; and to the general wellbeing and free functioning of newspaper organizations.

Strictly professional editorial concerns of newspaper editors are represented in the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE); the interests of electronic media organizations are represented by the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA); the interests of journalists by the PFUJ; and that of newspaper employees, in general, by APNEC. The APNS works with all these bodies to preserve the collective interests of the press. But it clearly insists that APNS alone represents the views of its membership in commercial matters such as advertising and circulation, which constitute an exclusive domain for the interest of its membership.

The APNS will resist any attempt by any other newspaper body or organizations, to interfere in their functions and will reserve its options to take any suitable action. The APNS also disparages slanderous pamphleteering and letters which falsely accuse its member publications of illusory acts. In this respect an Ethics Committee has been constituted to investigate such allegations, and take suitable punitive actions against those found responsible for such behavior.  

The executive committee considered applications for membership and decided to grant associate membership to monthly For Her Magazine (FHM), Karachi, Daily K-2, Rawalpindi, weekly Khursheed-e-Jehan, Faisalabad, daily Sadiqul Akhbar, Bahawalpur, daily Akhbar-e-Khyber, Peshawar, daily Pakhtoon Post, Peshawar and daily Riyasat, Peshawar.

The members noted with concern that Jamil Athar was unwell and prayed for his good health and early recovery.

The meeting was attended by President Hameed Haroon, Vice President Mehtab Khan, Secretary General Sarmad Ali, Joint Secretary Bilal Mahmood, Finance Secretary Waseem Ahmed, Mumtaz A Tahir (Daily Aftab), Sajid Nazir (Weekly Azm/ Daily Taaqat), Hamayun Tariq (D/Business Report), Younis Sohail (D/Business Recorder), Naveed Chaudhry (D/City42), Najamuddin Sheikh (D/Deyanat), Syed Akbar Tahir(D/Jasarat), Javed Mehr Shamsi (D/Kaleem), Syed Mumtaz Ahmed Shah (D/Mashriq, Lhr), Sheikh M. Shafique (M/Naya Rukh), Rukhsana Saulat Saleemi (W/Nikhar), Sohail Choudhry (D/Pakistan), Syed Muhammad Munir Jilani, (D/Paigham), Gauhar Zahid Malik (D/Pakistan Observer), Khushnood Ali Khan (D/Sahafat), Humayon Gulzar (D/Sayadat), Imran Athar (D/Tijarat, Lhr.), Shahid Mahmood (D/Tijarati Rahber, Fsd) and Syed Haroon Shah (D/Wahdat).

Rameeza Majid Nizami (D/Nawa-i-Waqt), Ahmed Baloch (D/Kainat), Mohsin Bilal Khan (D/Ausaf) and Mushtaq Ahmed Qureshi (M/Naey Ufaq) attended the meeting as special invitees.