August 23, 2020
ISLAMABAD—Speakers stressed for a comprehensive strategy to build the capacity of media persons in addressing extremism in society.
They were speaking at a two-day “Training Workshop of Parliamentary Reporters of Punjab Assembly on Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Laws” organized by Sustainable Social Development Organization (SSDO).
They said that at the time when Pakistan was facing a wave of terrorism, the role of media remained extraordinary. “Media was at the forefront. They gave their lives in the line of duty and suffered physically as well as psychologically. Still, they always performed their primary role of informing and connecting people,” said eminent journalist Fahd Husain while addressing the participants.
He talked about emerging media trends and advised media persons to update and strengthen their skills according to the evolving structure of media organizations. He said that the necessary skills are still there, but the shape of using those skills is changing. “Only those who can adapt to these changes will survive the media transformation,” he added.
Director-General Parliamentary Affairs and Research, Punjab Assembly, Inayat-Ullah-Lak talked about the role of standing committees in the proper implementation of CVE laws and how media can contribute to improving legislative oversight on CVE laws. He also briefed the participants about the amendments in the rules of procedures to strengthen the standing committees of Punjab Assembly.
Former Director Law, Government of Punjab, Syed Mohsin Abbas, in his session, introduced various laws that deal with CVE and update participants about their implementation. He said that if these laws get implemented in letter and spirit, the challenge of extremism can be addressed at the social level. “Media can play an effective role in the implementation of these laws,” he added.
General Secretary Rawalpindi Islamabad Union of Journalists Asif Bhatti urged media persons not to become a tool in the hands of extremist forces. He said that unknowingly, sometimes media becomes a party with extremist forces which damages the peacebuilding efforts.
Executive Director SSDO Syed Kausar Abbas said that media plays a vital role in addressing extremism in society. “Media is an important stakeholder in the process of addressing extremism in the society as it is the ears and eyes of the society,” he said.
Around 40 journalists from different parts of Punjab province took part in the training that covered all aspects of issues related to CVE.
Federal Minister for Science & Technology Fawad Chaudhry said that role of parliamentarians and media is essential to counter extremism and build peace in society. He said that the narrative for peace and cohesion needs to be strengthened by all institutions in Pakistan. Provincial Finance Commission needs to be introduced by all chief ministers to fulfill the needs of people at the local level. He appreciated the initiatives of SSDO to engage the parliamentarians and provide research assistance to strengthen the parliamentary processes in Pakistan.
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