Prime Minister Muhammed Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said that he wished to make Pakistan a journalist friendly country where not only local but international media feels safe and secure during their professional assignments.
He said this during a meeting with Ms Kati Marton, Trustee of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and wife of the late US Ambassador Richard Holbrooke who called on him with a four -member delegation. Mr. Sharif said journalists are a vibrant part of society and providing a safe and secure environment to them is the government's responsibility. The government is forming a commission of media persons, public figures and officials which will propose measures to be adopted to protect journalists in the field and ensure their well being, according to an official statement.
Mr. Sharif said this commission will also suggest ways and means to effectively monitor the prosecution of crimes against journalists.
While lauding the role of the Pakistani media in strengthening democratic institutions, he assured CPJ that the government was trying its best to ensure that the criminals and terrorists accused of killing journalists would be brought to justice.
Ms Marton appreciated the Prime Minister's resolve towards strengthening democratic institutions in Pakistan and also his role in pursuing journalist Wali Khan Babar's case which resulted in the conviction of his killers. This had sent a strong message to the international community about rule of law in Pakistan, it was felt.