Saturday August 20, 2022

Federal minister says certain truths cannot be said in Pakistan

By Our Correspondent
June 27, 2022
Federal Power Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan speaks at the CEJ conference on Sunday. -Picture CEJ Twitter
Federal Power Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan speaks at the CEJ conference on Sunday. -Picture CEJ Twitter

Social media has erased the line between the truth and lies. In the current age of the media, facts and reality are manufactured because if you have sufficient manpower and resource, you can alter reality.

Federal Power Minister Khurram Dastgir Khan made these remarks during his keynote address on Sunday on the second and final day of a media conference titled ‘Extreme Reporting: Conflict and Peace in the Digital Age’ organised by the Centre of Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA).

“Extreme reporting is an endeavor that requires bravery and strength and courage. If you look at Pakistan’s history there have been courageous men and women who have tried to express the truth and they have suffered for it. For example, Journalists have been shot in broad daylight, kidnapped and what not,” Khan said as he commended the role of journalists in the history of Pakistan.

However, he added that the media had failed to save the public from lies. “It might be an exaggeration to say so but this erasure of the line between truth and lies is endangering democracy worldwide. But in this country, where democracy is a one-leaf plant and is crushed so often, the media’s challenges are immense – almost the same as those faced by elected representatives because there are certain truths that cannot be said in this country,” he remarked. He said that people were not allowed to speak the truth about Balochistan.

Peace awards

As the conference concluded, the CEJ bestowed journalists with the Peace Journalism awards under the Peace Journalism Program held by the CEJ in collaboration with the United States consulate in Karachi.

Mehreen Burney from Lok Sujag, PTV World reporter Tayyaba Nisar Khan, freelance journalist Afifa Nasarullah and Lok Sujag’s Kaleemullah received awards for their outstanding stories. Reporter Faiza Gillani received the Best Acknowledgement Award and Swat’s Asmat Ali Akhun of Daily Jehan got the Special Mention Award.

Speaking at the ceremony, US Consul General Mark Stroh stated that the US was committed to supporting journalists in Pakistan. “We are proud to support this training program at the CEJ-IBA. A strong professional press is important – especially in conflict – and it is through such trainings and conferences where journalists can play their role in shaping the discourse,” he said.