ISLAMABAD  - Pervaiz Rashid, minister for information and broadcasting and national heritage, on Sunday said the government believed in freedom of expression but it was the need of hour to use this freedom with utmost responsibility.
Talking to media persons after visiting "Education and Career Expo" at Pak-China Friendship Centre here, the minister the government was committed to protecting media freedom and it was also prime responsibility of journalists and media organisations to safeguard this freedom through responsible conduct. He said that the government always welcomed media criticism and had not imposed any restriction since coming into power.
When asked to comment on Geo issue, the minister said the issue was under the consideration of Pakistan electronic media regulatory authority (PEMRA) and he would not like to interfere by issuing any statement at this stage. He said that consultation was going on regarding matters related to media, adding that APNS, APNE and PBA were also being taken on board in this regard.
Rashid said the government wanted to resolve all issues through mutual consensus so that it could concentrate on other core issues including terrorism, poverty and unemployment.
Replying to a question, the minister said that the cable operator should not take law into their hands by imposing ban on any channel on its own. The minister said he met owners and editors of media outlets off and on to listen to their problems. He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf had bitterly failed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and called upon PTI leaders to focus on issues of the province they were ruling.
Earlier speaking at the function, he said the government would pay fee of MA, M.Phil and PhD students so that nobody could be deprived of higher education. He said that 100,000 laptops would be distributed among students on the basis of merit. He said, "Only those nations have prospered in the world who gave top priority to education and encouraged the right to raise questions."
The minister also visited information desks set up by various universities in the expo and appreciated efforts of the organisers.
OPF initiates welfare measures for Pak expats
Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) has initiated welfare measures for the welfare of Overseas Pakistanis during the current fiscal year.
Talking to APP, an official of OPF said free transport shuttle service has been launched at Banazir Bhutto International Airport for dropping OPF members within city premises of twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.
He said an amount of Rs 2.3 million has been disbursed among the earthquake affected families of Overseas Pakistanis in district Awaran, Balochistan.
The official further informed that 645 complaints relating to property disputes were received by Overseas Pakistanis, out of which 457 have been settled down and remaining 197 are under process.
Replying to a query, he said 765 death compensation cases were received during the current fiscal year out of which 214 were settled and an amount of Rs 235.41 million has been distributed amongst 400 beneficiaries, adding, the remaining cases are under progress.
Replying to another question, he said 94 dead bodies of Overseas Pakistanis were transported to their home towns through OPF Ambulance.
Giving details regarding the airport facilitation counters for Overseas Pakistanis, he informed that the centers have been established at Sailkot, Gwadar and Turbat have been established in 2013.