March 08, 2016
NEW DELHI - Pitching for greater media connectivity between the two countries, Indian and visiting Pakistani legislators and journalists on Tuesday called for joint TV channels and newspapers to report positive stories from both sides of the border.
The idea was floated at a session of '' Third India-Pakistan legislators and Public Officials Dialogue on sharing of Experiences on Governance and Democracy'' organized here by Pakistan Institute of Legislative Development and Transparency, a not for profit indigenous think tank.
Vijay Darda, a Rajya Sabha MP and owner of a Marathi media group, said a jointly collaborated newspaper between India and Pakistan must come into existence to bring out human interest stories on both sides as it will help in busting 'misconceptions', which both countries' people have about each other.
Citing recent crackdown of Pakistan on extremist elements inside their country, Abdul Qayyum, a senator of country-ruling Pakistan Muslim League-N, voiced disappointment, saying the military action against terrorists in his country hardly made any news in India. ''We should have a South East Asia-based TV channel or newspaper, where Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi or Sri Lankan, everybody can have equal say,'' Mr Qayyum said.
Javed Jabbar, former Pakistani Information Minister, also backed the idea. However, he said it must be free from commercial, government and political interests.
Ashutosh, TV anchor-turned-politician, said it was unfortunate that channels were bashing Pakistan only to grab eye-balls and TRPs rather than discussing issues and added that nowadays, debates on Indo-Pak relations have been reduced to 'shouting and screaming.'
Sumit Tandon, a veteran journalist, said media must not 'demonized' for its current reporting style on Pakistan as it was still showing all shades that goes into Indo-Pak relations.
''When it comes to foreign policy, media cannot alter the perceptions. The greater responsibility lies with both countries' regimes to improve the relations,'' he added.
Calling for greater interaction between the journalists, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman, Editor-in-Chief of Daily Pakistan, said channels and newspapers of both countries must have correspondents in their neighboring nations.
''I wish if we could build some lounges on Atari Border in Punjab where journalists from both countries could come without any visa and meet each other over a cup of coffee,'' Mr Rehman said. - UNI
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