LAHORE: Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Saturday said the Ministry of Information was focused to project the country’s soft image abroad.
Talking to a group of film producers and exhibitors, after being briefed about Pakistan’s film industry here,
he said the entertainment industry could prove to be the best source to highlight the state narrative.
He assured the film producers and exhibitors that efforts would be made to give tax relief to local movies. There was a need to improve the number and content of Pakistani movies in addition to increasing the number of
cinema screens in the country, he added.
Fawad was of the view that there was a conflict of narrative in the local and foreign films. “We have to improve our narrative and we will definitely encourage Pakistani narrative.”
He said cinema owners should also increase the gate money (ticket) for foreign movies.
The federal minister mentioned that he had talked to ambassadors of various countries to look into the possibility
of collaboration in film production to enhance Pakistan’s soft image among the comity of nations.
He said a Pakistani movie “Parwaz He Janoon” and two dramas “Hamsafar” and “Tanhaiyan” would be screened in Saudi Arabia, and three movies would be exhibited in China.
The commercial counselors working in Pakistani missions abroad had been asked to play their role in finding out avenues for Pakistani movies in other countries, especially where Pakistani diaspora was in a large number, he added.
The minister said a cell was being established in the Information Ministry that would facilitate the film-makers in acquiring NOCs (No Objection Certificates) and liaising with the provincial governments. Work was also underway on a policy to streamline the procedure of censorship of films and rationalizing overlapping of work between provincial and central film censor boards, he added.
Regarding entertainment concerts, he said there should be 15 percent tax on concert tickets so that the
the maximum number of people could be accommodated and facilitated.
He said copyrights of TV performances of actors/singers would be transferred to them so that they could get
royalty of the work they had done in the past.
The Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority was being established merging the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Pakistan Press Council (PPC) and PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority), he said.
The minister said a state-of-the-art media university was being established in Islamabad. Pakistan lacked trained and skilled manpower in media, especially in IT and digital/HD media, and the media university would also impart modern media knowledge to people attached to the media industry, he added.
He appreciated the fact that film exhibitors were also investing in filmmaking and urged the film producers to
keep playing their role in the revival of the film industry in the country by making good quality films.
Suspicious package found near British parliament
LONDON: Police on Wednesday carried out a controlled explosion on a suspicious package found in central London near the British parliament.
Officers were called to the gardens next to the River Thames during the afternoon and emergency services were at the scene, a police spokesman said.
An AFP photographer on the spot saw a bomb disposal robot being deployed in the area and a controlled explosion was heard.
A building where many MPs have their offices were also cordoned off along with Victoria Embankment which leads to parliament.
The area was targeted in a terror attack last year when Khalid Masood, mowed down and killed five pedestrians before fatally stabbing a police officer outside the parliament building.
A man who crashed his car into the security barriers outside parliament in August is also suspected of attempting an attack.
EOC notifies two more cases of polio
ISLAMABAD: The National Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for Polio Eradication has notified two new polio cases from Gadap, Karachi, and Khyber tribal district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
This brings the total number of polio cases in the country to six this year, however, the virus has failed to cause any clinical paralysis to both the children. The first case of polio was confirmed in a 42-month-old female child from Gadap, Karachi, and the other case in a 55-month old female child from Khyber tribal district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The lab detected Poliovirus from their stool samples on October 1 and September 30 respectively. Fortunately, both the girls had received multiple doses of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) which boosted their immunity and protected them from a life-long paralysis. “The polio virus has been continuously found in the sewage waters of Peshawar and Karachi for the last 12 months,” said Babar Bin Atta, the Prime Minister’s Focal Person for Polio Eradication.
“The programme will continue to focus on clearing these two remaining reservoirs from the virus with full force,” he remarked. “Multiple vaccine doses gave the children the immunity boost to fight off the polio virus attack. They have no residual weaknesses and will live like normal children,” said Dr. Rana Safdar, National Coordinator for Polio Eradication while appreciating the vigilant health workers who picked these cases with atypical clinical presentations.
“That is why it’s important for every under five-year-old child to be vaccinated in every round, so immunity levels are high enough to fight off the virus in its entirety,” he said. Earlier this year, three polio cases were reported from Dukki District in Balochistan province, while one case was reported from the Charsadda district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
Being fully vaccinated in routine and door to door campaigns, the Charsadda child had also escaped paralysis. The wild poliovirus case numbers in Pakistan are the lowest ever and the immunity gaps continue to fall. However, despite this historic progress, Mr. Bin Atta said: “We cannot afford any let up in our efforts because as long as the virus is being detected anywhere in the country, no child is absolutely safe.” Multiple doses of polio vaccine are required for a child to be fully protected – each additional dose further strengthens a child’s immunity level against polio.
Contrarily, every missed child provides a place for the polio virus to hide. “Any child with low immunity will be where the virus will find refuge. We need to ensure all our children have received all of their routine immunizations and are vaccinated, with two drops, every time the vaccine is offered,” Mr. Bin Atta added. “Parents who do not ensure vaccination of their children are risking health and lives of their own children as well as others around them. It is thus the responsibility of communities to help to identify and vaccinating such children,” said Mr. Bin Atta. “We are closest ever to the goal of polio eradication. But to achieve it, we must all come together as a nation to ensure that every child is vaccinated. This is the only way we can collectively ensure that we rid polio from our land” he remarked.
Asad Umer for probe on Wall Street Journal reports!
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance Asad Umer on Wednesday underlined the need for investigating the reports of ‘Wall Street Journal’.
National Accountability Bureau (NAB) was also an investigative institution which would conduct the inquiry regarding reports of Wall Street Journal, he stated while talking to Media.
He said Wall Street Journal had mentioned about the matter of ‘Offshore companies’ scandals. He made it clear that the PTI government would not accept any deal based on kick-backs. About Naveed Malik, he said we knew that he had close relations with Nawaz Sharif. He added that the present government would make all-out efforts to streamline the system in PIA. To a question, he said Tahir Mehmood was working as acting chairman in SECP.
To another question, he said PML-N had damaged the national economy. He said the PTI government had levied taxes on wealthy people, while the poor were not imposed any new tax. Commenting on currency rate, he said it was the prerogative of a state bank to formulate the policy regarding currency rate.