Rawalpindi-Islamabad Union of Journalist urges media practitioners not to become a tool in the hands of extremists
Speakers stressed for a comprehensive strategy to build capacity of media persons in addressing extremism in the society.
They were speaking at a two-day “Training Workshop of Parliamentary Reporters of Punjab Assembly on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Laws” organized by Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO). They said that at the time when Pakistan was facing the wave of terrorism, the role of media remained extraordinary.
“Media was at the forefront. They gave their lives in the line of duty and suffered physically as well as psychologically but they always performed their basic role of informing and connecting people,” said eminent journalist Fahd Hussain while addressing the participants. He talked about the emerging media trends and advised media persons to update and strengthen their skills according to evolving structure of media organizations. He said that basic skills are still their but the shape of using those skills is changing. “Only those who can adapt to these changes will survive the media transformation,” he added.
Director General Parliamentary Affairs and Research, Punjab Assembly, Inayat-Ullah-Lak talked about the role of standing committees in effective implementation of CVE laws and how media can contribute in improving legislative oversight on CVE laws. He also briefed the participants about the amendments in the rules of procedures to strengthen the standing committees of Punjab Assembly. Former director Law, Government of Punjab Syed Mohsin Abbas, in his session introduced various laws that deal with CVE and update participants about their implementation. He said that if these laws get implemented in letter and spirit, the challenge of extremism can be addressed at social level. “Media can play effective role in implementation of these laws,” he added.
General Secretary Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists Asif Bhatti urged media persons not to become a tool in the hands of extremist forces. He said that unknowingly, sometimes media becomes party with extremist forces which damages the peacebuilding efforts. Executive Director SSDO Syed Kausar Abbas said that media plays vital role in addressing extremism in the society. “Media is an important stakeholder in the process of addressing extremism in the society as it is the ears and eyes of the society,” he said. Around 40 journalists from different parts of Punjab province took part in the training that covered all aspects of issues related to CVE.