Islamabad, Mar 17 : President Pervez Musharraf has said the future of the media and democracy in Pakistan is bright.
"I am a staunch supporter of free media. The media has been given much freedom during the last eight years and the present day media is completely different from that of eight years ago. I had accepted the criticism of media against me with an open heart, The Nation quoted him as telling a delegation of the International Federation of Journalists over the weekend.
"Today, Pakistan's media is as free as the international media and such an unprecedented example of press freedom can't be found in the history of the country," he added.
"When I took over the reigns of the country there was only one state owned channel, PTV, but due to my liberal policies and reforms today there are 60 channels airing in Pakistan. It is now the responsibility of media to act in a responsible way by keeping in line with the national interests and the code of conduct," Musharraf said.
He appreciated the timely and concise reporting of the February 18, 2008 general elections by the electronic and the print media.
IFJ General Secretary Aidan White lauded President Musharraf's role and initiatives in promoting press freedom He also proposed to establish a National Forum on Media and Democracy by involving the authorities and members of civil society and media.