No martial law era censorship board will be tolerated

PESHAWAR, Feb 22: The Culture Journalists Forum (CJF) has shown strong reservations over KP government’s proposed censorship board bill. Addressing a meeting of the forum, Ihtisham Toru once again called upon the provincial government to chalk out a comprehensive cultural policy, including provincial censorship board and copyrights acts. Rokhan Yusafzai, Amjad Hadi, Aamjad Ali Khadim, Inyat Rahman, Sajajd Khalil, Aziz Bunneri, Ijaz Afridi , Israr Bacha and Fida Sarhadi attended the meeting The participants urged the PTI coalition government to abstain from introducing the martial era act of censorship board bill in the assembly. The forum said a comprehensive cultural policy in the province would address all kinds of issues including censorship. “Cultural policy is a body and censorship is a part. Why the KP government is not taking steps to come up with a cultural policy. We want an active censorship board to be set up to curb obscenity, indecent CDs culture and distortion of Pashtun culture. We want the government to launch cultural activities and give protection to artist’s community in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” Mr Toru said. The participants demanded that censorship board should comprise real stakeholders including senior artists, poets, writers, intellectuals, and civil society members and media personnel. The text of the censorship board bill already introduced in the KP assembly by Shah Farman, culture minister should undergo a change, they said. No martial law era text of the proposed censorship board bill be tolerated , the forum participants warned. The Forum said, the KP culture minister had earlier promised a revisit of the cultural policy draft prepared by former ANP government but instead introduced a censorship board bill in KP assembly. “Why KP government was introducing a censorship board bill when it was not needed at this hour. Let we define our culture, prepare a cultural code and formulate a policy draft to address issues of artists’ community who are main the stakeholders,” The Forum pointed out. The censorship board should include representatives from diverse cultures of the province but before it, the KP government should chalk out a cultural policy draft so that artists could be given protection to serve art and culture. “Our senior artists are in poor condition. Cinema houses around have been razed to the ground. So -called artists misrepresenting our image in Gulf States especially in Dubai should be banned. The KP government should encourage genuine artists, singers, poets, writers and art promoters to boost our true image and show it to the world and not those who are bent upon tarnishing our face abroad,” the CJF said.]]>

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