Minister for Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan while talking to the media persons here on Monday, said that the political leadership should demonstrate political maturity and unity to meet the external challenges faced by the country.
She said President Asif Ali Zardari has not come to power through back doors rather has been elected democratically by the parliament and the four provincial assemblies. She said those criticizing the president are actually disrespecting his democratic mandate.
She reminded that Asif Ali Zardari is the first president who delegated his powers to the parliament and under the 18th amendment empowered the federating units.
She said the country and democracy can not afford political chaos at this critical juncture when certain forces are out to isolate the country for their ulterior motives. She said that forty two political leaders participated in the all parties’ conference and we respect their views. However, no single leader will be allowed to hijack the country.
The Information Minister said the nation also expects from PML (N) Chief not to add to the woes of the country.
Taking strict notice of the ransacking of martydrom site of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in Rawalpindi, Firdous Ashiq Awan said that political workers of a party damaged the site and other infrastructure which will not help in strengthening democratic values in the country.
Earlier addressing a workshop on ‘Responsive Reporting During Emergencies, the information minister emphasized the need for capacity building of district level journalists in order to provide timely and accuriate information to the people during emergencies like floods and earthquake.
She said that training programmes should be arranged for the journalists at the provincial and local level and the government in this regard will extend every possible support .
The information minister said the government wanted to empower the media so that the people have easy access to information. She said the government welcomes media criticism but it should also demonstrate responsibility and broadcast only authentic news. She stressed that the media should avoid speculations and hype particuarly during emergencies as it hinders the government’s relief and rescue activities.
She said in recent floods, a media coordination cell was set up in Sindh province and a crisis communication cell was activiated at the federal level to coordinate with the media and abreast them with the latest emerging situation. She expressed the confidence that the media will extend a helping hand in the reconstruction and rehabilitation phase.