dailypeghmLAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has summoned all Pakistani diplomats stationed abroad to Islamabad after Eidul Fitr in view of the changing regional situation, Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid said on Saturday.

Speaking to the standing committee of the Council of Pakistan Newspaper Editors (CPNE), he said the diplomats would be briefed in detail and given instruction in light of the changing scenario.

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Rashid told the CPNE panel that Premier Nawaz wanted to return to Pakistan immediately after he was discharged from the hospital, but his doctors did not allow him to do so. He said hopefully the doctors will allow the prime minister to return home after Eidul Fitr following his examination this week.

Rashid said Pakistan expects its neighbours will not allow its enemies the use of their land against it. He called for cooperation between both sides and suggest Saarc be used to hold discussions on this matter.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan should address each other’s complaints,” Rashid said. He said proxy war had damaged Pakistan immensely. ”Peace between neighbours is necessary for economic prosperity. Our neighbours need peace in Pakistan.”

Rashid said it was valid to criticise the government but not the constitution. He said progress has been made in investigating Amjad Sabri’s murder and the kidnapping of the Sindh chief justice’s son, adding that Sabri’s killers will be arrested in a couple of days.

Rashid said the two incidents have had a bad effect. “Someone has tried to sabotage the atmosphere of understanding,” he told CPNE members. “But security agencies will catch the perpetrators soon.” He said the issue of military courts will be referred to and solved in parliament.

The minister told the newly-elected CPNE panel that the draft of the Right to Information Bill has been prepared and will be tabled soon. He also approved the committee headed by Federal Information Secretary Syed Imran Gardezi to coordinate between the council and government. The principal information officer (PIO) and the Press Information Department (PID) director general will be part of the panel which will devise a strategy to solve problems faced by editors.

He said in light of the CPNE request and with the prime minister’s permission, a plot has been chosen for the CPNE House in Islamabad which will be handed over to the council once CDA transfers it to the information ministry.

Rashid said punitive action will be taken again those involved in the killings of innocent people in order to protect journalists and media houses. He said other CPNE demands will be discussed in meetings of the proposed committee and action will be taken in light of the decisions it will make.

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Earlier, CPNE Secretary General Aijazul Haq presented a welcome note on the minister’s arrival. CPNE President Zia Shahid, in his address, said electronic media has had a negative impact on newspapers and that there is a need to reconsider the ratio of business between electronic and print media. CPNE has decided that the next year will be celebrated as the year of print media.

The meeting of the CPNE standing committee was held under Shahid’s chairmanship and was attended by a large number of council members. Different points were discussed in the meeting according to the agenda. CPNE Secretary General Ejazul Haque did the compering for the event.