Pakistan establishing commission on journalists’ protection


ISLAMABAD: Pakistan is establishing a commission comprising media persons, public figures and government members to propose measures to the government to protect journalists working in the field and ensure their well-being, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif told this to a delegation of the Council for Protection of Journalists, which met him in the capital on Wednesday. 
“I want to make Pakistan a journalist-friendly country, where not only local but international media feels safe and secure during their professional assignments,” Nawaz told Kati Marton, the widow of late US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke. Marton, Executive Member of Council for Protection of Journalists (CPJ) along with a four-member delegation of CPJ, met the premier on Wednesday. She appreciated the prime minister’s resolve towards strengthening the democratic institutions in Pakistan. 
She also appreciated PM’s role in pursuing Wali Khan Baber’s case, which resulted in conviction of his killers and has given a strong message to the international community regarding the rule of law in Pakistan, an official statement said. The CPJ delegation however stressed immediate measures to ensure safety of the Pakistani journalists and quoted a number of incidents in which media persons were killed, threatened and intimidated by various terrorist and hardliner groups spread in restive areas of the country and elsewhere.
Assuring his government’s resolve, premier Sharif said that Journalists are a vibrant part of the society and provision of safe and secure environment to them is government’s responsibility. Prime Minister Nawaz said that his commission will also suggest ways and means to effectively oversee/ monitor prosecution of crimes against journalists. 
PM lauded the role of Pakistani media in strengthening democratic institutions and restoration of judiciary. PM assured that the government is trying its best to ensure that the criminals and terrorists accused of killing journalists will be arrested and brought to justice. Sharif also praised late Richard Holbrook for his role as peace maker in Bosnia and also called him a friend of Pakistan.

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