Gilani faults media for Marriott reportage

September 25th, 2008 - 2:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Islamabad, Sep 25 (IANS) Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has faulted the media for its reportage of last week’s Marriott Hotel suicide bombing, saying national interest had been ignored while finding faults with the system.”The people’s expectations from the media are high, and though not all the expectations have been addressed, the element of national interest has not been fully kept in view,” he maintained while speaking at an Iftar dinner he hosted for senior journalists at the Prime Minister House here Wednesday.

“We all know well that such tragedies cause a considerable damage to overall economy and national security. The coverage was not realistic as it exaggerated the overall impact on national economy by highlighting negative impact of terrorist attacks,” The News Thursday quoted Gilani as saying.

He also urged the media to play the role of an arbiter between the institutions and the people and act as an impartial judge of situations by keeping the larger national interests in mind.

“Why cannot the media play a yet greater and better role of mediator among the warring factions, sects and regions? I would love to see the media play the role of arbiter among people and institutions,” Gilani maintained.

Speaking about the situation along the border with Afghanistan, the prime minister categorically stated that Pakistan would not tolerate any violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity by any one in the name of combating terrorism.

The reference was to recent incursions and air raids by coalition troops in Afghanistan into Pakistan that have resulted in a large number of civilian casualties.

“I also want to make it clear that we need peace not only within Pakistan but also in our region, which requires your (media’s) cooperation and collaboration to achieve this objective,” Gilani said.

The prime minister said the government had embarked on a three-pronged strategy to combat terrorism. This envisaged making peace with those who renounce violence, investing in development and social uplift of the people, and the use of force only as a last resort against those who challenge the government’s writ.

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