ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday reiterated the government’s commitment to strengthen democratic institutions and introduce a parliamentary culture of tolerance to develop healthy traditions. The Prime Minister was talking to a six-member delegation of All Pakistan Newspaper Association (APNS) that met him at the PM House, to receive a cheque of Rs 25 million as first installment for the construction of APNS House in Karachi. An amount of Rs.50 million was announced by the Prime Minister last month during APNS Convention in Lahore.The Prime Minister said the resolve of exhibiting patience and accommodation was in accordance with the vision of reconciliation given by Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed.He said,” freedom of expression is an essential ingredient of democracy, however, demonstration of patience and tolerance to listen to the views of others is also important”.He said his government always respected the freedom of media and tried to establish a healthy and professional relationship with the journalist community.The members of the APNS delegation thanked the Prime Minister for the support extended by the government to the APNS and other representative bodies of the media. They appreciated the spirit of tolerance exhibited by the members of treasury benches during the budget speech and agreed that healthy
parliamentary traditions have to be built for the future of democracy in the country.
The delegation also appreciated the budgetary proposals announced by the Finance Minister in his speech and apprised the Prime Minister that the people at large considered the budget as balanced and realistic.Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Minister for Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar, Secretary Information and senior officials were present on the occasion.The APNS delegation included Mehtab Khan, Acting President of APNS, Rameeza Majid Nizami, Joint Secretary, Ghulam Akbar, Executive Member, Munir Jillani, Executive Member, Danish Iftikhar, Executive Member and Muhammad Waseem, Executive Member. – APP