President for using digital media as a ‘tool for social reformation’

ISLAMABAD:President Dr Arif Alvi on Friday said digital media could act as an effective tool to bring reformation in the society through dissemination of public awareness messages.

In an interactive session with journalists-cum-digital media influencers at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, he stressed for responsible use of social media with a constructive approach to highlight issues concerning the common man in particular.

The President said though political topics drew more audience to a journalist’s social media platform, however creating awareness about matters such as hepatitis, breast cancer, women’s share in inheritance, population control and disabled persons was equally important.

He said media giants and social media worldwide were gaining power to influence institutions and even shape up the policies of States.

He urged the journalists to invite debates on various social issues and invoke public opinion in a bid to educate the society.

He mentioned that mere laws could not give positive results, unless there was a social change to choose right over wrong.

Dr Alvi lauded the role of mainstream and social media during the coronavirus pandemic for educating the public about healthcare precautions.

The President, flanked by his wife Begum Samina Alvi, also answered the queries of digital media journalists on issues including Islamophobia, presidential system and ordinances, electronic voting and cyber security.

On the issue of Islamophobia raised with France, he said Pakistan maintained the same position. However, he said the stance “did not mean confrontation, but awareness” about a dangerous social trend in the West.

Regarding electronic voting, he said the work by his task force was in progress and a consultancy firm would soon be hired to work out feasibility on E-voting and digital identification.

He said E-voting could be an expensive venture and also required the nod of the parliament for implementation.

Asked about his opinion on presidential system, he said, “a decisive leadership matters more than a specific mode of governance”, adding he had ‘no tilt towards either of the systems’.

To a question on issuance of presidential ordinances, he said the prerogative was constitutional and had been a normal practice during the tenures of other ruling parties as well.

He emphasized that the government had to opt other means in case the Opposition remained unwilling to run the parliamentary business.

On cyber security, the President said the phenomenon was vital in the age of hybrid warfare and called for a secure system at military front and also in civilian domain such as banking, National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and health data.

President Alvi said the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan was heading in right direction with effective steps, taken for economic stability and overcoming the challenge of pandemic.

He proposed the government to continue its people-centric approach by keeping on priority the subjects including controlled prices of wheat, sugarcane and petroleum.