CPEC is a vehicle for human development: ITNE Chairman

ITNE remains the sole recourse for media employees in Pakistan, says Shahid Mehmood Khokhar

ISLAMABAD  -  The Implementation Tribunal for Newspaper Employees (ITNE), Chairman Shahid Mehmood Khokhar delivered a speech titled “Exploring Connectivity Initiatives between China, Pakistan, and BRI Countries through the Lens of Media” at the One Day International Conference on “The Role of Media in Advancing Global Connectivity through the Belt and Road Initiative.”

During his speech, Mr. Khokhar highlighted the significant role of media in promoting connectivity between China, Pakistan, and other BRI countries. He emphasized the importance of media playing a constructive role in reporting on the various connectivity projects and initiatives undertaken by these countries. Mr. Khokhar also stressed the need for media outlets to maintain accuracy and objectivity in their reporting and to establish strong partnerships and collaborations for effective coverage of connectivity initiatives. He further discussed potential of media in improving people-to-people connectivity and acting as a bridge between different cultures and nations.

In his address, Khokhar outlined the objectives of the ITNE, which serves as the sole tribunal established under the Newspapers Employees Conditions of Service Act to address grievances of print media employees across Pakistan. The act, enacted in 1973, aimed to afford employees the right to voice their grievances and seek redressal for the marginalized segment of society within the media landscape, which, at the time, lacked alternative forums or dynamics, including electronic and digital media. Khokhar noted the evolution of media laws over time, particularly with the enactment of the PEMRA Ordinance in 2002, which led to a proliferation of the media industry, especially in electronic media, with the advent of radio and television channels. Despite these developments, the ITNE remains the sole recourse for media employees in Pakistan. Discussing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) under the Belt and Road Initiative, Khokhar emphasized its significance as not merely a developmental project but also a vehicle for human development and bilateral relations between Pakistan and China. He acknowledged the challenges facing CPEC and stressed the role of media from both countries in identifying, investigating, and proposing solutions to address these challenges effectively. 

Khokhar highlighted Pakistan’s struggles with terrorism, particularly in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, where the nation has sacrificed over 80,000 lives in counter- terrorism efforts. He underscored the media’s responsibility in shaping a counter-terrorism narrative to keep continue of this initiative of human development, peace, and prosperity. The conference was jointly organized by the China Media Group (Islamabad Studio), the Department of Arts and Media at the Foundation University School of Science and Technology in Islamabad, and the Pakistan Research Center for a Community with Shared Future (PRCCSF), Islamabad.

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