KARACHI -  The All Pakistan Newspapers Society expressed its profound shock over the complete breakdown of distribution system of newspapers in Balochistan consequent upon the threats issued by outlawed organisations for the first time in the history of Pakistan.

The executive committee of All Pakistan Newspapers Society, at its meeting held on October 26, expressed concern over the disruption of distribution system of newspapers in the province despite clear assurances given to the publishers and hawkers by the Balochistan administration.

The executive committee noted that militant organisations are hampering the distribution of newspapers, adversely affecting the writ of the government. It urged the federal government as well as the armed forces of Pakistan to look into the matter seriously and restore the writ of the state in the province.

In another resolution, the executive committee members expressed their profound concern over the cancellation of declaration of dailies Sahafat and Dopahr, Islamabad, by the district magistrate with the involvement of the Ministry of Information. The executive committee strongly condemned the highhandedness of the Islamabad administration which has grossly violated the provisions of the Press, Newspapers, News Agencies and Books Registration Ordinance, 2002, by cancelling the declarations without any prior notice.

The executive committee considers the action as a signal to the print media that the federal government has chosen a path to strangulate the media by negating all democratic norms. The committee termed such acts an attack on freedom of expression and reiterated the print media would brave the situation and safeguard its rights earned after a long and protracted struggle.

The executive committee decided that if the declarations were not restored forthwith, the APNS would launch an advertising campaign in all member publications against the arbitrary action.

The members present at the meeting from across the country noted with serious concern that the NAB authorities have arrested highly respected advertising practitioners and the most senior professionals on the charges of alleged corruption. The APNS executive committee, without going into the merit and demerit of the case, strongly believes that the arrest of Gulzar Ali, Salman Mansoor, Masood Hashmi and other advertising practitioners is tantamount to damage the advertising sector which is an integral part of the media industry. The APNS is of the considered opinion that these advertising practitioners had released the advertisements on the instruction of the Sindh Information Department as per routine procedures prevailing in the country and if there were any malpractices on the part of the releasing authority, the advertising agencies should not be made responsible for such acts. The executive committee has demanded immediate release of advertising practitioners and immediate withdrawal of non-bailable arrest warrants for all the accused belonging to the advertising fraternity.

The executive committee considered applications of advertising agencies and decided to grant provisional accreditation to M/s Zenith Advertising Communication (Pvt) Ltd, Karachi, and M/s. Perspective Media, Lahore. It also decided to grant restructuring of M/s RG Blue Communications, Karachi, M/s Velocity Marketing and Communications, Lahore, and M/s Lahore Publicity Services, Lahore.

The executive committee considered the reports of the provincial committees and decided to grant associate membership to Daily Ummat, Peshawar, Daily Imroze, Karachi, and Monthly Dental News, Karachi.

The committee granted the appeal of Monthly Waij, Karachi, and decided to restore its membership.

The members of the executive committee condoled the sad demise of Wajahat Ali, brother-in-law of Sarmad Ali and offered fateha for the departed soul.

The members expressed their concern over the illness of Irfan Athar and prayed for his early recovery.

The meeting was attended by Sarmad Ali, president, Mehtab Khan, vice president, Umer Mujib Shami, secretary general, SM Munir Jilani, joint secretary, Mumtaz A Tahir (daily Aftab), Muhammad Bilal Farooqi (daily/Aghaz), Rehmat Ali Raazi (weekly Azm/ daily Taaqat), Humayun Tariq (daily Business Report), Naveed Chaudhry (daily City42), Syed Ali Hasans Naqvi (daily Dawn), Najamuddin Sheikh (daily Deyanat), Muhammad Waqaruddin (daily Dunya), Javed Mehr Shamsi (daily Kaleem), Muhammad Aslam Leghari (daily Kawish), Imtinan Shahid (daily Khabrain), Aamer Mahmood (monthly Kiran Digest), Syed Mumtaz Ahmed Shah (daily Mashriq, Lahore), Bilal Mehmood (daily Nawa-i-Waqt), Inayatullah Niazi (monthly Naya Rukh), Faisal Zahid Malik (daily Pakistan Observer), Dr Waqar Yousuf Azeemi (monthly Roohani Digest), Khushnood Ali Khan (daily Sahafat), Humayon Gulzar (daily Sayadat), Jamil Athar (daily Tijarat, Lahore), Shahid Mahmood (daily Tijarati Rahber, Faisalabad) and Usman Arab Saati (daily Vatan Gujrati).