Being attached with the renowned and noble international organization, “International Center for Protection and Freedom of Journalists” (ICPFJ), is a matter of honour and pleasure for me. This organization is working day and night for the welfare of journalist community, promoting freedom of expressions, free flow of information, human rights and strengthening of democratic values around the globe. People have unalienable right to express their views freely. This is vital for development of human societies and wellbeing of human beings. People can get information through free media. No doubt, media has the responsibility to inform and educate people as well as to guide them in making their leaders accountable. It should be noted that a free and independent media plays a leading role in building of as safe and health society. But these basic rights are in danger in several countries. Sometimes, journalists report events at the cost of their lives. Therefore, “World Press Freedom Day” is being observed every year on 3rd May to ensure freedom of expression, create conducive atmosphere for journalists and all those who are working in media in one way or the other.
In Pakistan, the safety and security of journalists and media workers is a matter of serious concern. We have lost more than one hundred journalists since 1994. No doubt, the incidents of violence against journalists have reduced recently yet journalism as a profession in Pakistan is weak and economically insecure. Journalists are vulnerable physically and psychologically. But I am glad to say that now we have a platform in the shape of ICPFJ to overcome these challenges. We have some senior and seasoned journalist in ICPFJ, and we must benefit from their experiences to achieve our goals i.e. freedom of press and creating friendly environment for journalists. We should promote unity in our ranks and files to achieve these objectives at earliest. Together we can completely change the existing environment where journalists will work at ease and satisfaction. This will definitely have positive impacts on the society.
Gohar Ali Khan
Director South Asia
Representative of Pakistan and Senior Member of Executive Board