Next govt should preserve media gains: Karzai
KABUL (Pajhwok): Lauding media role in promoting national unity, President Hamid Karzai said on Tuesday the next government should leave no stone unturned to ensure the right to freedom of speech and media independence were preserved.
“Freedom of print and electronic media, freedom of journalism, freedom of writers and freedom of speech in Afghanistan has progressed and is moving forward. The next government has to keep the momentum going,” Karzai said after inaugurating the newly-built Bayat Media Centre in Kabul.
He said the media had achieved greater progress and the momentum needed to be continued and taken forward and the gains preserved in the larger national interest.
However, he stressed the media should utilise the right to expression in bolstering the country’s image and further promoting the national unity.
“We should use the right to freedom of speech to inform people in a move to defend our country and protect the interests of our nation. We should utilise the media for the development of our country,” he remarked.
He said media criticism of the government was important to bring about tangible reforms in governance, but urged media outlets to demonstrate responsibility.
Hailing the role of Ariana Television, he said: “Despite criticism of the government, the media has always worked for strengthening the national cause.”
Ihsanullah Bayat, the newly-inaugurated Bayat Media Center director general, said the main goal of the center was to empower civil and democratic institutions.
He said the centre would represent all ethnicities without any discrimination and ensure their voices reached the quarters concerned, adding the media was duty-bound to play a crucial role in rebuilding and devekoping Afghanistan.
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