The Mass Communication Department of Lahore Garrison University (LGU) successfully organized a compelling panel discussion on ‘National Integration: From Division to Cohesion’ at the Jinnah Auditorium.
The event brought together renowned media professionals, columnists, anchors, analysts, professors, writers, dramatists and poets to address the pressing concerns surrounding national integration in Pakistan. The distinguished panelists brought diverse perspectives and expertise to the table, creating a dynamic and enlightening atmosphere.
The panel discussion centered on two key topics: the journey from division to cohesion through the role of media and the imperative of building consensus on crucial national issues to shape a unified and inclusive national narrative. Throughout the session, panelists highlighted the need for responsible journalism, constructive dialogue, and meaningful debate as fundamental elements in bridging societal divides and fostering national integration.
The structured format of the panel discussion allowed for a comprehensive exploration of the challenges faced by Pakistan and the identification of potential solutions. The audience actively participated by posing thought-provoking questions and sharing insightful comments, further enriching the dialogue.
During the panel discussion, famous journalist, columnist, and analyst, Mujeeb Ur Rehman Shami, expressed concern over social media’s role in spreading fake news and its impact on national integration. He emphasized the need for enhanced regulations and accountability measures on social media platforms to address the challenges posed by misinformation.
In a spirited discussion, Habib Akram, anchor of Dunya News passionately argued that social media has opened up new horizons for freedom of expression like never before. He highlighted the transformative power of social media platforms in giving voice to individuals from diverse backgrounds, enabling them to share their perspectives, opinions, and experiences with a global audience.
Dr Bushra Hameed, Chairperson, Department of Journalism, University of Punjab (PU), posed a critical question, “We need freedom of expression for what?” She emphasized that freedom of expression should be viewed as a means to an end, rather than an end in itself. In her perspective, the purpose of freedom of expression, particularly in the realm of media, should be centered around fostering national unity and cohesion.
The event reached its culmination with a powerful closing ceremony presided over by Maj Gen (R) Shahzad Sikander, the Vice-Chancellor of Lahore Garrison University. In his concluding remarks, Maj Gen (R) Sikander reiterated the significance of national integration and responsible media practices, emphasizing their role in creating a more inclusive and cohesive Pakistan. In a gesture of gratitude and acknowledgment, Maj Gen (R) Sikander presented souvenirs to the participants, symbolizing their immense contributions to the thought-provoking discussions.
Dr Amir Mehmood Bajwa, the Head of the Mass Communication Department, expressed his satisfaction with the event’s success, stating, “This panel discussion served as a platform for experts from diverse backgrounds to exchange ideas and offer valuable insights. We believe that responsible journalism and constructive dialogue are essential for building a more inclusive and cohesive Pakistan.” The Mass Communication Department of LGU remains dedicated to promoting responsible journalism, inspiring transformative dialogue, and encouraging actions that contribute to a united and integrated society. The success of this panel discussion reinforces their commitment to creating a positive impact through academia and media.
A group photo captured the camaraderie, preserving the shared moments forever. The event concluded on a delightful note with a delicious lunch, leaving participants satisfied and content.