Still In Opposition Mode

2018-08-31T04:38:39+05:00

It is true that the energetic Information Minister of the Punjab government, Fayyaz Chohan, has the confidence of both the Chief Minister, and the Prime Minister. With such trust reposed in him, he has the ability to reshape the thinking of the masses with the portfolio assigned to him. He must pause to reflect, and to understand the issues of the industries that rely on his ministry to protect them. His responsibilities must reflect more kindness and compassion, and less the tinge of policing that sometimes by default start to appear in such roles.

The constitution of the Punjab Assembly is a highly volatile one — there are almost the same number of PML-N MPAs as there are of PTI. With such a polarised Punjab assembly, it is extremely important for the Punjab government to cooperate with all political parties if it hopes to function effectively. Though his past approach has been confrontational, it would be advisable for the Punjab Information Minister to adopt a more conciliatory and reconciliatory approach towards opposing politicians and the media.

The term is at its beginning. There are many issues in the information ministry that need to be taken action on. Now is the time for the government to renew its relationship with the press, which had for the last few months been fractured- this includes many initiatives such as ensuring fair distribution of ads, and cementing freedom of press by timely payments to media houses without any strings attached.

With PTI’s stance on transparency, Chohan has a good opportunity to revitalise the information ministry and bring emphasis back to its original purpose- dissemination of information. There are many policies which can be adopted to ensure transparency of information to the ordinary citizens- amending the Punjab Right to Information Act seems like a good first step.

In short, there is a plethora of opportunities that Mr Chohan could take to drastically improve the Information Ministry and empower citizens— the dresses of Lollywood actresses should fall very low on his priority list.

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