National Assembly Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage has directed Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) to take necessary measures to address the negative propaganda against Pakistan in the international media.
The committee also asked the news agency to adopt innovative techniques to reduce its reliance on budgetary grants from the government.
The committee met under the chairmanship of MNA Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla, in Parliament House, on Thursday.
The committee gave these directions after a comprehensive briefing by the management of Associated Press of Pakistan. The committee appreciated the performance of the news agency for providing credible and authentic news to media, however, observed that despite having trained intellectual and technical human resources, it should reorganise itself and adopt innovative strategies to advance as a self-reliant and revenue generating entity. The committee also asked the APP management to introduce human resource development system to train its human resource.
The APP managing director and executive director gave a comprehensive briefing on the organisational structure, budget, human resource and equipment in APP headquarters at Islamabad, regional languages services, its bureau offices at provincial headquarters and regional offices at the district level. The managing director also apprised the committee about the structuring, introduction of modern technology and future plans for improving the news agency. He also apprised the committee about the news sharing mechanism with foreign news agencies and news channels and memorandum of understanding signed with foreign news agencies. He informed the committee that APP was cognizant of its responsibilities and was very effectively providing counter-narrative to the propaganda against Pakistan in the international press.
The committee unanimously condemned the statement of cricketer Shahid Afridi against the youth of Pakistan. The committee was of the view that he should abstain from uttering such demoralising statements.
The meeting was attended by MNAs Malik Shakir Bashir Awan, Mian Muhammad Farooq, Waseem Akhtar Shaikh, Parveen Masood Bhatti, Arifa Khalid Parvez, Syed Amir Ali Shah Jamote, Belum Hasnain, Murad Saeed, Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon, Naeema Kishwer Khan, additional secretary, minister of information broadcasting and national heritage, APP managing director and other senior officers of the concerned departments.