PR No. 190 Films, culture and tourism serve as a catlyst in changing perceptions: Marriyum Islamabad

Films, culture, heritage and tourism serve as a catalyst in changing perceptions about countries and societies. Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting & National Heritage stated this during a meeting with H.E. Jean Francois Cautain, Ambassador of European Union to Pakistan who called on her, here today. She said that Pakistan attached great importance to its relations with European Union and would like to further enhance collaboration in the areas of information, culture, media training programmes , films production and broadcast.

Minister of State said that operation Zarb-e-Azb and Rad-ul-Fasad had broken the back of terrorists and destroyed their physical hideouts. Now there is a dire need to counter the extremist mindset that breeds the creed of hatred, retrogression and repression which can be countered through the mediums of film, broadcast production and art. Minister cited many precedents of developed nations where films created a profound impact in creating awareness and building pluralist and tolerant societies and said that government under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif was committed to revive the narrative of peace love and harmony.

She apprised the EU Ambassador that one of the PTV channels was going to be dedicated for  children content which was imperative for their  upbringing as well as educating them  The idea of establishing Children Entertainment Authority  in the M/O IB&NH is also being contemplated with a view to  monitor and give policy guidelines on children content.

Marriyum Aurangzeb said that present democratic government firmly believed in freedom of expression as it considered it one of the major components of any free and democratic society. She said that the corner stone of the government’s media policy was to promote and facilitate the growth of responsible and independent media. The MOS informed the dignitary that the main mandate of Ministry of IB&NH was to promote and project positive image of Pakistan as well as advancing socio- economic and political values of the nation across the social landscape of the country.

She told the Ambassador that Ministry was working on a robust training programme for the professional development of journalists as media enjoyed immense influence in shaping public perceptions and opinions. Marriyum observed that it was therefore imperative to raise the level of professionalism of the journalists through training so that they could better understand and grasp media code of conduct and media laws and be able to perform their tasks in conformity with their professional ethos.

The minister also discussed with the EU ambassador the possibility of EU  assistance to  Pakistan in various training programmes for journalists as well as in consolidating  and strengthening the medium of film  and broadcast production in Pakistan.

H.E. Mr.Jean Francois Cautain assured the Minister of State of his full cooperation in this connection and reiterated that EU would continue its collaboration with Pakistan in fighting terrorism, strengthening democracy and issues pertaining to  human rights. The Ambassador also shared with MOS the details about the pilot project that EU had started in Moenjodaro and Kalash valley, the two richest cultural and heritage sites of Pakistan. The Minister of State told the EU Ambassador that he would find many artists and artisans during the course of these projects and suggested him to organize a programme for their training and capacity building so that they could become an asset for the national cutural heritage which was sine quo non to promote the softer and positive image of Pakistan.