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Can’t force press to hold any news, says Pervaiz [The Nation] 04 May, 2017

ISLAMABAD - Former information minister Senator Pervaiz Rashid, in a veiled reference to the Dawn leaks, said that an information minister could in no way force a publication to hold a news story.

He said this, while talking to media persons after attending a seminar held on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day here at a local university on Wednesday.

The former minister in a sarcastic tone said that if the state wanted an information minister to wield the powers of blocking a news story from being published, it should consider introducing “a course outlining how a news story can be stopped from being published at universities”.

“I apprised the journalist about [a] real story and my own point of view on the story, which is expected in a democratic society,” he added, while referring to the Daily Dawn’s story.

Rashid, however, while declining to comment on the Dawn leaks inquiry report, said he would be in a position to comment only after the report was made public. 

The federal government has also taken back the portfolio of Special Assistant to PM on Foreign Affairs from Syed Tariq Fatemi, and it has also asked the PIO, Rao Tehsin Ali Khan, to face the departmental inquiry in the Dawn leaks scandal.

Earlier, addressing the seminar, which was organised by the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU), Senator Rashid emphasised that the educational institutes should step forward and disseminate the messages of the national heroes in their true perspective and spirit.

He said that society’s liberty from all kinds of suppression was a pre-requisite to ensuring freedom of the press.

Speaking on the occasion, AIOU Vice-Chancellor Dr Shahid Siddiqui said that the imperialist forces had always been suppressing the voice of the people through coercive methods.

There is a need to adopt discursive approach for moulding the mind of the people on positive lines, he said.

The role of the civil society and the media is highly important in educating the people to struggle for the rightful place in the society, the vice-chancellor said.


This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 04-May-2017 here.

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