Uzbek-Pakistan Leaders’ Common Vision on Role of Press in Nation Building

Tazeen Akhtar
The founder of Islamic Republic of Pakistan said, “Press and the Nation Rise and Fall Together.” It is a matter of fact that the press and journalists played central role in all countries that emerged as vibrant, awake and united states in the comity of nations. Pakistan has survived through critical phases of history and the press has played vital role in setting the direction of the nation and the state on right path in all difficult times. Similarly the press and journalists in brotherly state of Uzbekistan has also helped the nation and the state to move forward on a roadmap devised by the leadership for a better future of the republic.
27 June is celebrated in Uzbekistan as the Day of Journalism to remember the history of journalism in the state and to honor the role of newspapers in the nation building. Ambassador Oybek Arif Usmanov held a get together with Pakistani journalists on 24 June to mark this historic occasion. The information about this day, the Ambassador shared there helps reach the conclusion that the first President of R-o-U, Late Mr. Islam Karimov had the same vision for the journalism and the press that was noted by Founder of Pakistan, Mohammad Ali Jinnah. President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has always invited, welcomed and considered the feedback from the press, in his all initiatives including the latest reforms in the constitution and shaping the New Uzbekistan
Pakistani journalists from different newspapers, and tv channels were invited to the embassy of Uzbekistan Islamabad to share the experiences and observations with respect to the importance of the day and the contribution of journalists in educating and entertaining their readers, listeners and viewers. Representatives of the state media Radio Pakistan, Associated Press of Pakistan and Pakistan Television were also present. The Managing Director of state news agency APP, Mr. Asim Khichi also graced the event.
Prominent among independent press were Mr. Gauhar Zahid Malik, Editor-in-Chief of Daily Pakistan Observer who is also the office bearer of All Pakistan Newspapers Society APNS, Mr. Tazeen Akhtar , Editor International Magazine “Pakistan in the World” and Urdu Daily Azkaar, Member Media Safety and Security Committee of Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors CPNE. Dr Mehmood ul Hassan Khan showcased a well designed presentation on the reforms, referendum and upcoming Presidential Election on 09 July 2023.The Ambassador in his address to Pakistani journalists shared, ” The first newspaper in Uzbek language in the whole Central Asia was “Taraqqi” (Development) that was launched from Tashkent on 27 June 1906. The first President declared the day in 1993 and the first Day of Journalism was celebrated in 1994. Since then , the journalists activity has been organized every year that depicts the value of journalism in the eyes of the government and the nation.
Mr. Usmanov welcoming the Pakistani journalists appreciated their efforts in highlighting the various aspects of bilateral historical, cultural relations and playing important role in bridging the gaps between the people of two states.
MD APP in his short address appreciated the measures the government of Uzbekistan is taking for the development of mass media in the country. He said government of Pakistan also attaches great importance to the press and the journalists. He said “Press is considered (unofficially)the fourth pillar of the state in Pakistan. Other 3 pillars are Legislature, Administration and Judiciary.”
Editor Tazeen Akhtar , during interactive session, on lighter note shared, ” Editor is called “Muharrir” in Uzbekistan and “Muxbir” in Azerbaijan. Interestingly both the words are specific for two servants who work in Police Stations in Pakistan and both are not seen as good workers.”
He suggested the words for Muharrir and Muxbir can be replaced with “Mudeer” and “Sahafi”. Mr. Riaz Malik proposed to use Editor and Reporter. DG of APP, Mr. Asim Khichi opposed the opinion and termed the words of Muharrir and Muxbir well and good.
Muharrir means who writes and in Pakistani police stations he is who writes complaints while Muxbir means who brings information from around about any crime to the incharg of the police station. Muharrir is government servant while Muxbir is privately serving person. Anyway the whole discussion on the two words was just by the way.
Uzbekistan has a large , vast and vibrant press and media as observed by me in my all three and especially the last latest visit on 28 April to 02 May 2023 in connection with the coverage of Referendum 2023.I prefer to visit press related places and meet their editors and reporters there. Last time I visited Uzbekistan Milliy Media Association where Mr. Sherzod welcomed me. He recognized me as we met in Presidential election as well. He briefed about the association and shared the information about the tv channels and newspapers the association is running. I had discussions with a number of senior journalists and media persons in Tashkent. I had a detail meeting with the editor of the state news agency of Uzbekistan. Visit to ZOR Tv and printing house was memorable experience because I was not expecting such a huge set up of any tv channel and printing house. There is Uzbekistan National Newspapers Agency as well. I met with its senior officials and shared the information about how the press in Pakistan works. Many tv channels interviewed me as Pakistani observer. All these visits, meetings and my interviews to different media outlets are enough to state without any doubt that Uzbekistan government is supporting the press and media in true sense.
Another activity for the journalists that is a regular phenomenon in Uzbekistan is Media Week that is organized by the National Association of Electronic Mass Media of Uzbekistan (NAEMM), MY5 TV Channel, the Parliamentary Commission for the Management of the Public Fund for Support of NGOs and Other Civil Society Institutions under the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO, Journalism and Mass Communications University, the Agency of Cinematography of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and the Youth Union of Uzbekistan.
The Oltin Kalam (“Golden Pen”) Contest is organized by the Creative Union of Journalists of Uzbekistan and the In-Service Training Centre for Journalists of Uzbekistan. In 2021, on the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, the Media Week entitled “New Uzbekistan. New View” was launched on 3 May 2021 at the Youth Creativity Palace in Tashkent.
(Note: The pictures of the writer of this article are being published only to give a complete view of the active press and media in Uzbekistan as the author had himself noted the activities of the press and media that are in full swing in the whole state of Uzbekistan.)


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