Media needs self-regulation to ensure responsible reporting: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi urged media organisations to ensure responsible reporting by exercising due diligence in verifying facts.
Addressing an awards ceremony at All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) in Islamabad, the prime minister emphasised the need to check facts to ensure objectivity in media reporting.
He also highlighted the government’s resolve to uphold freedom of the media.
“The present government resolved to safeguard freedom of expression [and media] from day one. But it is your responsibility to ensure objective reporting,” he told the audience, adding that it was healthy to criticise but equally important to highlight the positives.
PM Abbasi called for a self-regulating mechanism to ensure responsible and objective media reporting, while emphasising the importance of facts-based reporting to the country’s progress.
“The media needs reforms today more than it did ever before,” he said.
The premier noted that censorship was useless in today’s age of social media. “Social media has [transformed the media landscape] by making all information available to anyone.”

He said media censorship may render short-term advantages but it was never in national interests, especially in the modern age.

‘Govt has managed to overcome gas shortage’

While talking at a later press conference Prime Minister Abbasi said the current government overcame the shortage of gas in the country.

Speaking at the press conference the PM added that there has been a complete implementation of the plans promised by the current government where they have managed to overcome the shortage of gas in the country.
Talking about the international community, the PM said, Pakistan is being hailed as a success in the LPG industry because of the lowest prices in the world, which has resulted in imported gas, industry and fertilizers being revived.
Lauding his government, the PM added 116 oil and gas discoveries were made during the last five years, a record.
These discoveries have added 35,000 barrels of oil and 900 million cubic feet of gas to the system.
According to the PM, 445 wells have been drilled during this government’s tenure as compared to just eight or nine in a year.
Of these 225 were exploratory wells, he said, adding that the total discoveries reflect the success rate of 50 per cent which is a great achievement.
Talking about the number of new gas connections in the country, the prime minister that when the government had come into power seven million connections in the country, however now there are 9 million in the country through a transparent mechanism.
The PM also said that they laid a transmission line which is 1,700 kilometre long at a cost of Rs200 billion.
Abbasi also said arrangements have been made for the laying of pipelines in the north and south of the country with the cooperation of Russia and China.
Talking about the TAPI project, the premier said work is currently being done on the project with the expectation, the country would be receiving gas by 2020 through the project.
He added LPG air-mix plants are being set up in areas which previously did not have a steady supply of gas. These include areas in Balochistan, Chitral, Gilgit and Azad Kashmir.
Similar plant would also be set up in Skardu within two to three years, the PM added.