Some accounts of Jang restored, claims Saif

ISLAMABAD: Ehtesab Bureau (EB) chief Senator Saifur Rahman and Chief Executive of Jang Group of Newspapers Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman held a one-on-one meeting for one-and-a-half hour here on Saturday and discussed all issues between the government and the Jang Group. According to an EB source, Saif pointed out that running media campaign was basically uncalled for. It started with tax recovery and, therefore, there was no question of discrimination, he said. The government, he said, is determined to recover outstanding tax from all defaulters. He assured that the government did not intend to impose any press curbs.

Saif said despite all kinds of provocations by the Jang Group, the government did not take any legal action against it. Mir Shakil regretted for making public the informal talks held in the past, said the EB official. According to the source, the negotiations would continue. Mir Shakil asked that the tax cases issued by the government against the Jang Group be withdrawn. On it, the EB chief said they have to be resolved through legal parameters between the revenue collection authorities and the Jang Group.

As far as newsprint was concerned, the same had been released as per orders of the Supreme Court, Saif stated. The police and the FIA have been conveyed orders to withdraw their staff from the Jang Group of Publications, he said. Besides, instructions have been issued to unfreeze some accounts of the Jang Group so that it can disburse salaries to the employees, he added. The EB chief said the government upholds the press freedom but it expects from the free press to display responsibility and support national causes.

Saif hoped that the Jang Group of Newspapers would end the contract system of employment and implement the Wage Board Award. The need for it was repeatedly impressed by the various media trade bodies' representatives during the government-Jang Group row, he said. The meeting ended on a positive note and these negotiations would continue.

The News International Pakistan