Minister of Information: No fundamental work has been done for culture in Afghanistan
When some media outlets’ activities are facing a downturn, a newspaper called Rah-e Mandegar has just entered the media family in the country. Although the assassinations of media activists have intensified recently, prompting those involved to flee Afghanistan, in the latest case, Rah-e Mandegar began publishing its first issue at the International Hall of Information and Culture. Nazari Pariani, the managing director and owner of Rah-e Mandegar newspaper, said in the program: “Rah-e Mandegar newspaper has entered the media campaign as a new and independent media, and this newspaper, as a new media, has entered the field of information with a different and independent approach. We hope that the Ministry of Information and Culture will develop a strategy in the field of media support, especially the print media so that we can institutionalize the activity of the print media in society.”
Meanwhile, the head of the Information and Culture Ministry, Taher Zuhair, says that we will be with the country’s media and that the Ministry of Information and Culture’s new policy is based on cultural development. He said that without the development of culture, we could not achieve society’s progress: “If we look at countries far and near, reading newspapers has become a culture. In Pakistan, whenever you look at a shopkeeper, the same shopkeeper reads the newspaper first before his business deal in the early morning. But unfortunately, in Afghanistan, we are far from this culture. The new policy of the Information and Culture Ministry is based more on cultural development in the country, and we welcome any plan for fundamental reforms in the field of culture because, in recent years, no influential work has been done to bring culture from the margins to the top of social management.»
On the other hand, Ainuddin Bahadori, the head of the Information Access Commission, emphasizes the freedom of assumed and independent media activities. “Unfortunately, we are in a situation where some people think that leaving Afghanistan is the solution, but in such a situation, the newspaper Rah-e Mandegar, with its staff, takes an extremely promising step in the field of freedom of expression,” said Mr. Bahadori. “Many do not have the courage and work ethic.”
However, Mohammad Alam Izadyar, the deputy head of the country Senate, considered the second round of Rah-e Mandegar newspaper activity as a worthy action and stressed that this newspaper’s critical strategy should continue in its new chapter. Mr. Izadyar adds: “Now that “Rah-e Mandegar newspaper has come on the scene. We expect it to take a path that will make it popular in society. Besides, Mandegar must continue its critical stance against the policies of the regime as in the past.”
Simultaneously, Abdul Manan Shivai Sharq, Deputy Minister of Information and Culture, emphasized the media’s free activity in his speeches. “We are here to foster critical thinking and support critical media coverage,” he said. “The Ministry of Information and Culture’s Publications Department is currently working on amending the Public Media Law and several other laws, and in the year 1400, the country’s media will witness the amendment to this law. At the same time, we are trying to support the free and critical activities of the media in an unprecedented way.”
Meanwhile, Mandegar newspaper was active in the country’s media community for eleven years. However, after the outbreak of Corona-virus disease and a series of other issues, the media stopped working one year ago, and now, for the second time, this newspaper has begun its activities under the name of Rah-e-Mandegar to a franchisee and management of Mr. Nazari Prayani.
Reporter: Amran Foroubli