LAHORE - PR  - The Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE), in its emergent meeting at Aiwan-e-Iqbal, here on Wednesday unanimously declared that closure of any media house or cancellation of licence or declaration of any channel or publication would not be acceptable as it was not in the national interest.

“Any such action will tantamount to a grave crisis and will do irreparable harm to the democratic Pakistan,” declared the CPNE. The meeting was chaired by Mujib-ur-Rahman Shami, President of the Council.

The CPNE further resolved that sanctity of defence and media institutions was equally important as both were national organs. It was further resolved that Pakistan armed forces and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were vital national institutions and it was a collective responsibility of every person to defend and safeguard their honor and dignity.

The meeting called upon all the media houses to show responsibility while reporting/ commenting about these vital security organizations. The meeting also discussed at length the recent reference filed by Ministry of Defence with Pemra and expressed satisfaction that the government and aggrieved national institutions had taken a legal course instead of taking an arbitrary decision. However, the meeting expressed deep concerns over the present constitution of Pemra and showed apprehensions regarding its ability to deliver a just and fair decision owing to its adhoc structure.

The meeting strongly condemned attack on senior journalist Hamid Mir and demanded the government should take immediate and swift action to ensure safety of all the journalists associated with national media organisations. The meeting also declared that the right to freedom of speech should be enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan and the State should provide adequate protection to the journalists against life threats emanating from any quarters. The meeting appreciated the federal and Sindh governments’ decisions to constitute a judicial commission and joint investigation team to probe attack and expressed the hope that perpetrators would be brought to justice without any fear or favour. The meeting appealed to all the media organisations including APNS, PBA and PFUJ to unite at this hour of need and subside the tensions between different media organisations. The meeting further requested these organisations to play their role in creating harmony and solidarity among media houses and work together for the safety and protection of press freedom and journalists.