KARACHI: Director General of Iranian Cultural Center Bahram Kian has said that Pakistan-Iran friendship is everlasting and will last forever. If the two countries use each other’s abilities in the field of arts and culture, then the relations between the two countries will get even better. The exchange of delegations of Pakistani and Iranian media is very important. Culturally, the two countries share a historic status.
These views were expressed by him while addressing the officials and members of the Karachi Editors Club at an intellectual meeting in connection with the 42nd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran.
Apart from Khana Farhang Public Relations Officer Najamuddin Mousavi, President Karachi Editors Club Mubasher Mir, Secretary General Manzar Naqvi, Senior Vice President Col (Retd) Mukhtar Butt, Nazir Leghari, Shahid Jatoi, Agha Masood, Naeem Tahir, Ms. Khurshid Haider, Hasina Jatoi and Naeemuddin were also present at the event.
Addressing the think tank, Bahram Kian said that Pakistani media has always played an important role in the region in terms of culture. There has always been a need for such a think tank. There was some distance between them, due to which this process could not continue, the coronavirus has also harmed both the countries. What is the importance of media, you know its importance better than us, exchange of Pakistan-Iran media delegations is very important and it is also a requirement of the present-day time.
He said Pakistan-Iran relations are ancient and have historical significance. He sasid: “We can focus on some things in terms of culture which will yield positive results. Especially the historical assets in Sindh are very important. Ever since Pakistan came into being, the distance between Pakistan and Iran has narrowed. Our common enemies have always tried to damage Pakistan-Iran relations and identity, but they have failed on every front.”
Bahram Kian said: “Just as anti-Iranian media propaganda is used against Iran, so is the poison against Pakistan, which both the countries are facing. I would say that people are afraid of the current situation in Pakistan and Iran, but whoever comes and sees the real situation says that it is all a lie, the situation in both countries is better, and he is against the media.
He said the people of Pakistan and Iran are very sociable and loving. “I have personally observed over the last two years that the courageous role of the Pakistani media is important, that there is integrity in the Pakistani media and that there is honest freedom of expression here, an example to the world,” he added.
He said events are presented without any fear or hesitation. He continued: “We will continue to try to bridge the gap between the media and our shortcomings. On the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution in February, you can see that the Iranian media will change a lot compared to the past.”
Elaborating on the media in Iran, he said that at present thousands of news agencies, newspapers and magazines are published in Iran. Magazines on literature, sports and culture are published. Magazines and newspapers published on a daily basis require tons of papers. The government has allocated 21 billion of Iranian currency for annual newspapers and magazines. Representatives of about 326 foreign agencies are currently working in Iran, with news on air in about 16 languages. 98 foreign channels can be watched in Iran, of which Pakistani channel is very important. “If you look before and after the revolution, you will find a lot of change in the Iranian media itself,” he added.
He said that such meetings should be held regularly and this process that has started will continue. “We want Pakistan-Iran media to have mutual relations and contacts so that the relations can be improved further,” he concluded.
KEC President Mubasher Mir, thanking the Iranian host said, “We are very grateful to you. The information you have given regarding the Iranian media has encouraged us and knowingly. I am happy that there are so many media representatives and a large number of newspapers are published in Iran. As far as propaganda against Iran is concerned, the publication of such a large number of newspapers is a negation of all such propaganda.”
Mubasher Mir said that it is important for us to know that the media relations between Pakistan and Iran have not reached the level we have seen in the last three to four decades. Historically, the relationship between the two countries is very strong which cannot be denied. He said that the subcontinent has been associated with Persian language, it is invaluable. “Many of our people are associated with Persian language and literature and give many examples in their life from Persian literature and Hafiz Shirazi, Khayyam and Firdousi. We do it with the same devotion as we do to our superiors,” he added.
Mubasher Mir further said that issues Bahram Kian have mentioned are confronted by the people of both the countries. Pakistan has faced this a lot, and is still facing the same situation. He said one thing that Pakistan feels very strongly is that the people of both countries can connect newspapers and media. Media representatives can use each other’s newspapers.
He suggested that we have already pointed out that the policy of Pakistani media is liberal, many TV channels can be seen in Pakistan. Some Iranian channels, including Sahar TV, are seen here. We want your information department to approach our PEMRA exclusively so that Iranian channels can be legally viewed in Pakistan.
He said that the proposal of exchanging delegations of media representatives is commendable and we appreciate it and people related to Pakistani media will also appreciate it. Many of our friends have visited Iran. In the past, Iranian students used to come to study in Pakistani educational institutions. Now Pakistanis go to Iran for religious education. It would be great for us if this series started through the media. We want you to send Iranian newspapers and magazines here for media representatives, to be kept in the Press Clubs and libraries here so that people can use them.
Agha Masood said that the suggestion that delegations should be exchanged for strong ties between the two countries was very good. This will lead to mutual understanding. We believe that some imperialist powers are involved in the deterioration of relations between Pakistan and Iran, and we often point out this situation many a time.
KEC Secretary General Manzar Naqvi said that Pakistanis love the Persian language. He said Pakistan and Iran are both Islamic countries while our civilization, culture and history are very old. He said religiously Pakistan-Iran relations which, however, are not at the desired level. “There is a need to improve cultural, literary and trade relations. We agree with the suggestions you have made,” he added.
Manzar Naqvi said that people from all walks of life of Iran should come to Pakistan as such a step will increase harmony. If Iranian journalists come to Pakistan, they will be welcomed by Karachi Editors Club. “We suggest that if a Pakistani journalist writes and sends you something about Iran, you should give a full answer, which will encourage him. He proposed that there should a special section with them to encourage those who promote your point of view. We share our love with you. He pointed out that our national anthem is also in Persian.
Hasina Jatoi said that we will always be with you in terms of literature and culture. Culture and media are a great source of public diplomacy. People can come closer to each other. Pakistan-Iran media people can send some good things to each other’s countries by translating them into Urdu and Persian. If they are published, its good fruits will come to light and misunderstandings, if any, will be removed.
Col (Retd) Mukhtar Butt said that Pakistan-Iran relations have been ideal since 1947. Iran has helped Pakistan in all respects. If the relations are good, the enemy will always be defeated. Cultural activities are held to bring the two countries closer.
Naeem-ud-Din suggested that Karachi is still considered as a great cultural city. Once upon a time, restaurants of two countries were very popular in Karachi, one of which was an Iranian hotel and the other a Chinese restaurant. The poor and common man had access to the Iranian hotel, which is now extinct. I suggest that Iranian investors should pay attention to this as well.
He said the Turkish dramas are very popular in Pakistan. We want Iranian dramas to be translated and aired in Urdu in Pakistan and complete information about Iran’s tourist destinations and standard packages should be introduced so that more and more Pakistani people go to Iran for tourism.
Ms. Khurshid Haider said that in order to promote Iranian culture, it is necessary to make proper arrangements for showing Iranian dramas in Pakistan.
Nazir Leghari said that he agrees with all the suggestions made here. If documentaries about Iranian cities are shown in Pakistan with Urdu translation, our relationship will be stronger and deeper. The majority in Pakistan wants better relations with Iran, people from here also go for pilgrimages.
Naeem Tahir said that representatives of Iranian media houses should be appointed in Pakistan. Similarly our representatives should go to Tehran, which will give our journalists a chance to write and also get space in newspapers. Pakistani newspapers publish Iranian diaries and Pakistani diaries in Iran.
Director General Iranian Cultural Center Bahram Kian welcomed the suggestions made by the KEC member and agreed that we have taken note of it and action in this connection will be taken soon.
KEC Secretary General Manzar Naqvi thanked the host and presented a book on his latest book ‘Amazing China’ which he wrote after his last of many visits to China.