Journalists blast tight-lipped Helmand officials
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Journalists marking Word Press Freedom Day on Sunday said officials were least cooperative on sharing information with them in southern Helmand province.
A group of journalists celebrated the day that falls on May 3. An Aryana television journalist in his address to the gathering in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, accused civil and security officials of not sharing information with media about “Operation Zulfiqar’ against militants in Helmand.
He added security incidents happened now and then but security officials were reluctant to allow journalist access to information in order to hide their weaknesses.
Mohammad Ilyas, a reporter with Azadi Radio, told Pajhwok Afghan News officials were busy with their own tasks and had no concern about their official obligation to share information with the media.
“The freedom of speech remains a hollow slogan. Taliban militants share information with media but government officials avoid it.”
A military operation was launched a week back in Greshk and Nehr-i-Seraj districts but local officials are tight-lipped about the offensive.
Sardar Mohammad Sarawari, Aryana TV reporter, said access to information was the constitutional right of journalists.
He said President Ashraf Ghani had approved the law on access to information but journalists remained deprived of that right.
He warned that journalists would boycott government coverage if they were not allowed access to information.
Pajhwok tried to contact local officials for comments on the journalists’ demand, but failed to reach any.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.