PESHAWAR: United States Consul General in Peshawar Elizabeth H. Rood on Sunday lauded the sacrifices rendered by journalists in the war on terror.
“This club and journalists from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa play a vital role in keeping people inform not only in Pakistan but in the whole world including the United States about the happening taking place in the region,” she said.
The diplomat said this inaugurating along with Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain the newly constructed bombproof reception, screening and waiting room at the press club building.
She said the Peshawar Press Club was not just a building but also a centre for collecting and dissemination of news and social, cultural and democratic activities. The diplomat said terrorist activities, particularly December 22, 2009 suicide attack on the club, necessitated enhancing security for the building to make the newspersons safe from such threats in future.
Recalling journalists’ sacrifices in the war on terror, she said that after the press club attack, wherein policeman Riazudddin and accountant Mian Iqbal Shah were killed, six journalists fell prey to terrorist activities in Pakistan - Azmat Ali from Orakzai Agency and Misri Khan from Hangu besides 12 more in the province and tribal areas.
“This shows the sacrifices journalists have been rendering and how much difficult journalism - considered to be fourth pillar of the state - has become in Pakistan,” she said, adding that the terrorists had failed to silence the voice for highlighting the truth and preaching peace.
Elizabeth Rood said that for the last 10 years media role had acquired importance due to militancy and the journalists from Peshawar had played this role with utmost devotion and dedication and kept the world informed about day-to-day developments taking place in the region.
Journalists in Peshawar are not only having a check on the government activities, but report the events relating to war on terror in the province and nearby tribal areas, she added. Provincial Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was fighting the war of not only stability and integrity of Pakistan but for survival of the whole world.
Reiterating the government commitment to eliminating terrorism, he said efforts to bring down terrorist activities had succeeded to a greater extent, but a joint intelligence sharing among Pakistan, Afghanistan and Allied Forces was a must for rooting out terrorism from the region.
Permanent eradication of terrorism and militancy in this region is impossible until elimination of terrorism from Afghanistan, he added. Lauding the US support, the minister said people and government of the province would welcome such support from any country of the world. He said that journalists were rendering great sacrifices in the war against terror like other segments of the society and it was government responsibility to provide them the best possible protection.
Peshawar Press Club President Shamim Shahid and General Secretary Muhammad Ali Khan thanked the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, Fata Secretariat and donors for help in the construction. Later, the US consul general and provincial minister formally inaugurated the newly built facility.