Partnership with media being forged to protect people against onslaught of terrorism says Minister Sherry


Islamabad : Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sherry Rehman said the government as the primary guarantor of public and national security was forging a partnership with media to protect people against the onslaught of terrorism, which is wreaking havoc with their lives, minds and spirits.

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At the same time, in pursuit of stated policy of ensuring media freedom multiple efforts were being undertaken to facilitate the growth of an independent and self-regulating media that is free to carry out its due professional role, she said on Saturday.

The Minister was addressing the 1st International Conference on Psychotrauma entitled “Media and Terrorism,” organised here by National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST).

Sherry Rehman chaired the session on one of the most critical issues facing Pakistan – the symbiotic relationship between media and terrorism, and how it is impacting the Pakistani people in our troubled times.

“We are living in a world today where crime has become borderless, global economic shocks are creating ripple-effects for local prices and incomes; and security of life and property has become vulnerable. Thus, we are witnessing the globalization of crisis and a resultant public trauma,” she said.

Sherry Rehman said in this environment of collective security stresses and threats, media has a very important role to play that of informing people of the cold, hard realities on the ground, as well as guiding them on ways and means to protect themselves against damage.

The Minister underlined the need to look at ways of how a free media can carry out its principal duty of truthful public information on an ongoing conflict while also providing information that victims and other affected people can use to cope with the trauma caused by that conflict.

She said in Pakistan the great challenge being faced today by both government and media was how to confront terrorism not only through tactics and strategies, but also through a qualitative approach of extending humane care.

“So, our combined efforts must also be geared towards shielding our people, especially our children, youth, women and senior citizens, against the emotional and psychological excesses that terrorism brings with it wherever it strikes,” she maintained.

Therefore, she said, “Our goals should be an empowering of our national emotional intelligence, and a strengthening of our united spirit of strength and resilience to cope with this evil, and purge it out of our peaceful, culturally rich social and civil fabric.”

She appreciated NUST for its initiative of bringing together the national and international specialists to discuss a phenomenon that impacts each one of us and our families.

She expressed the hope over the next two days there would be a range of expert perspectives from varied professional backgrounds which would offer valuable insights into the causes and effects of physical, emotional and psychological trauma, and how countries need to deal with it to serve their publics.

Experts from United Kingdom, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Australia and Saudi Arabia are participating in the conference to share their views.