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Media should bolster national unity: Karzai

AT-KABUL: Ex-President Hamid Karzai called upon media to play role for promoting national unity and bring positive change in the society.

In a meeting with staffers of Afghanistan Times and Daily Dunia the other day, the former president said that Afghan media should devise a comprehensive policy which could strengthen the national solidarity further while brining the whole nation under one umbrella.

He also called upon the Afghan media to work hard in order to compete with the regional and international media and become key source of news and information for them.

Hamid Karzai lauded Afghanistan Times and Daily Dunia for being independent voices and following journalistic code of ethics. He said that implementation and promotion of democratic values is possible if freedom of expression was guaranteed and supported.

Karzai added that support by law can enable media to play vital role for people’s welfare like other national organizations, and work against disorders and problems in the society.

Pointing out to the staffers of Afghanistan Times and Daily Dunia, he said that efforts of media in the country, particularly Afghanistan Times, in supporting basics of democracy in the country are worth appreciation. He also appreciated the efforts by reporters who during his tenure worked honestly in providing information to the nation. He said that improvement in freedom of speech in Afghanistan has been odd in the region in past 13 years.

In the meantime, the editor in chief of Afghanistan Times, Abdul Saboor Sarir, presented a souvenir to the ex-President Karzai and applauded his tireless efforts in putting the ground stone for freedom of expression and supporting media in Afghanistan. “The historic improvement of media is one of the biggest achievements of Afghans in past 13 years,” he said.

He said that a great number of media outlets including radio and TV channels and newspapers enjoyed unprecedented improvement during Karzai’s tenure. “Such improvement has not even been witnessed in the regional countries,” Sarir added.

He said that Afghanistan Times and Daily Dunia have always prioritized impartiality and national interests in providing information to their readers, and the papers are committed to continue this policy.

It comes as the ex-President Karzai during his tenure several times stressed on prioritizing and supporting freedom of expression in the country, and had said that he would not let the newborn freedom of speech to get hurt.

At least 900 media outlets including radio, TV channels and newspapers received license from the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) since 2001. There are more than 150 radio channels, 52 TV channels and 177 print media organizations including newspapers, weekly and monthly magazines.

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