Pervaiz Rashid calls for promoting culture of tolerance

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Senator Pervaiz Rashid said on Thursday called for promoting culture of tolerance and to live and let live others.

Pakistan is facing challenges like threat of terrorism, energy crisis and economic revival, and therefore collective efforts are required to resolve theses gigantic problems, he said.

Talking to media persons outside the residence of senior anchor person Hamid Mir here after inquiring after his health, the minister said that a few months ago, PEMRA was asked to close ARY TV channel but he opposed the demand on the ground that it would amount to interference with the freedom of expression.

If a TV channel commits a mistake and then tenders apology, it should not be banned, the minister said, adding that it had been his principled stance on the issue of freedom of expression even before the satellite channels were launched in Pakistan.

“Issue is not of a closure of any channel but is of freedom of expression,” he added.

To a query he said that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) was an independent institution and nobody could dictate it.

To another question, he said that as information minister it was his responsibility to meet all stakeholders in connection with the issues related to media.

He said he held meetings with representatives of Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE) so that we as a nation could move forward.

The minister said that it was necessary that those whose sentiments were hurt, should be redressed properly. Commenting on Transparency International’s report, he said that during the 11 months of PML-N rule, no complaint of corruption has been reported and Pakistan’s ranking on the chart has improved, which was a good sign.

He said that he had come to inquire after the health of Hamid Mir, who, he added, was recuperating well.