Golden Pen of Freedom award for Najam Sethi an honour for Pakistan: Sherry
* Sindh ministers Jam Mehtab Hussain, Syed Murad Ali Shah also congratulate Sethi
ISLAMABAD: Information Minister Sherry Rehman on Tuesday congratulated Najam Sethi, editor-in-chief of The Friday Times, Daily Times, and Aaj Kal, for receiving the prestigious Golden Pen of Freedom award by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), saying it was an honour for Pakistan.
“Najam Sethi is one of the most experienced journalists of Pakistan and this award is an honour for Pakistan as much as it is for the journalist community that have always stood up to protect the sanctity of the media,” she said.
The minister said journalism in Pakistan had faced tremendous challenges in the six decades of the country's existence. “The most important lesson for the Pakistani media is that dictatorship and media freedom can never go together. Democracy gives space for expression and negotiation to all voices, thoughts and ideals. It is the best system of governance facilitating media independence.”
Sherry said that Sethi's award also highlighted the changed nature of threat to the media today. “Mr Sethi has not only stood up against violations of press freedom by successive authoritarian regimes, he has defended media freedom as vociferously against threats from non-state actors. This is his most important achievement especially since extremism is a common enemy of the media as well as the democratic forces. As a citizen of this country, Mr Sethi's award is a reminder that we all have a responsibility towards safeguarding our democratic institutions from the threats from regressive elements.”
Sindh Minister for Population Welfare Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar and Minister for Irrigation and Power Syed Murad Ali Shah also congratulated Najam Sethi on being awarded the Golden Pen of Freedom. In a joint statement on Tuesday, the provincial ministers said Sethi had shown commitment to providing facts to the readers despite great hurdles.
“His steadfastness and clear perception of the issues can be a role model for everyone working in the field of journalism,” they said.