MANDI BAHAUDDIN-Punjab Minister for Women Development Hamida Waheed was apprised of the problems being faced by the journalists, during an oath-taking ceremony held at the Mandi Press Club.

However, she said that the role of the media is of great importance in the society. Therefore, the media should raise voice of the deprived and oppressed people, she said addressing the oath-taking ceremony of newly-elected office-bearers of the District Electronic Media Reporters Association at an Iftar dinner.

She said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had sanctioned Journalist Colony and in this respect while land is being acquired for plotting. She said five-marla plot would be allotted to each journalist. The allotment would be made on merit, she added.

She urged journalists to forge unity among them as division of journalists in different groups is detrimental to journalism. Referring to Press Club premises, she said it was for all journalists and no one can stop them to use this facility. She said all problems faced by journalists would be solved on priority basis. Earlier, Chairman Amjad Chishti, President Kashif and Vice President Shahzad apprised the minister of journalist problems.

They said a few self-declared Press Club office-bearers had occupied the Press Club premises. They have changed the club building into a business centre. They have misappropriated funds given to the Press Club by the government, they said. The chairman demanded audit of funds and forming an interim executive body for preparing by-laws and giving membership to genuine journalists.

All fake and unqualified people’s membership should be cancelled and then Press Club elections should be held, he demanded.