Pak Afghan Youth Forum (PAYF) hosted media professionals on an online open forum to freely discuss the challenges, issues, and problems they face, but most importantly, their role in regional peace and bilateral relations. This Media Conclave consisted of a morning and afternoon session and was part of our Webinar series. Our aim was to achieve some mutually acceptable recommendations and problem-solving initiatives on utilizing media to pave the way for regional connectivity. The involvement of several key figures in government and media underscored the importance of our mission and highlighted the importance of our forum in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The morning session focused on the role of the media in the peace process, and in the future regional developments. The session was moderated by Sumaira Khan, a correspondent of Indus News World. The Keynote Guest was Mahmood Jan, Deputy Speaker KP Assembly of Pakistan, ensuring that the essence of the session’s discussion would reach policymaking tables. The panel itself had Khalida Rasheed, Khalid Olfat, Mujtaba Qasim, and Nargis Ehsan representing the Afghan side and Sumaira Khan, Rifatullah Orakzai, and Ejaz Ahmed representing the Pakistani media.
The afternoon session focused on the role of media in bilateral relations. The session was moderated by Nadia Naqi of NewsOne, and the Key Note Guest was Senator Faisal Javed, again to ensure the discussion would have a tangible impact on governance. The Afghan media panel consisted of Mir Aqa Popal, Shazia Haya, Munizah Abbasi, and Asad Daudzai. The Pakistani media was represented by Tahir Khan, Farzana Ali, Munizae Jahangir, and Naeemullah Yousufzai. The key takeaways included an increased exchange in terms of sports commentators, as well as players for each other’s leagues, the dubbing and broadcast of Pakistani dramas in Afghanistan without a focus on profit generation, and collaboration between the media and civil society on both sides of the border to ensure that the proper information is reaching people. There was encouragement that authorities should facilitate media collaboration, and that news companies should have on ground reporters across the Pak-Afghan border, rather than getting news from foreign sources.