Federal Minister of Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain on Thursday stressed the need for joint ventures between Germany and Pakistan in the fields of film and drama productions.
The Minister, during a meeting with German Ambassador Bernhard Stephan Schlagheck, said they would like German filmmakers and film producers to explore the beauty of the Himalayan range in Pakistan through the lens of their cameras.
He proposed holding a zoom meeting with associations of German film and fiction producers with a view to strengthening cooperation in the field of cinema and co-productions, according to a statement.
Fawad said Pakistan’s relations with Germany were characterized by shared democratic values and multi-faceted cooperation. Pakistan was among the first Asian countries to establish diplomatic relations with Germany, he added.
The minister said that the Foreign Ministry’s proposal for a video film highlighting Allama Iqbal’s special ties to Germany and his poetry about Heidelberg would strengthen cooperation in the field of joint productions and documentaries.
He informed the Ambassador of the government’s initiative to establish a university of media technology and said that Germany’s cooperation would be welcome in establishing a modern state-of-the-art educational institution comprising four schools.
Fawad stressed the need to collaborate with game and animation companies from Germany. Cooperation between Pakistan and Germany in this area would further strengthen economic ties between the two countries.
Ambassador Bernhard Stephan Schlagheck appreciated the proposal for joint ventures in the fields of film and drama productions as this would help project the beauty of the region, in addition to promoting tourism.
He has shown his keen interest in advancing cooperation in the field of games.
The envoy welcomed the efforts of the current democratic dispensation in the process of finalizing the draft law on the protection of journalists.
The two sides discussed various issues faced by the journalist community and the state of media freedom in Pakistan.
The minister said Pakistan has one of the freest media in the region because “we strongly believe in the fundamental and democratic right of freedom of expression”.
He informed the Ambassador that Pakistan has around 43 international channels, 112 local private channels, 258 FM channels and 1,569 print publications operating in the country.
The presence of such a large mass media outlet, he added, challenged the claim of those who complained of intimidation and restriction of media freedom.
The minister dismissed the impression that laws had been passed in Pakistan to suppress social media freedom. He said hate speech is a universally recognized phenomenon that should be discouraged, adding that all states have a duty not to allow hate speech.
Fawad also expressed concern over the growing trend towards Islamophobia in the West. The two dignitaries exchanged views to further strengthen cooperation in the fields of media and information.