islamabad-Right to access to information and freedom of expression is a precondition for a nuanced, inclusive and transparent public debate and for the exercise of basic human rights, said the Ambassador of Denmark in Pakistan, Ole Thonke here on Tuesday.

He stated this while speaking at a journalism excellence award ceremony organized today by the International Media Support (IMS) in collaboration with Individual and Pakistan (IL).

In democratic societies, media plays a vital role, as it provides excess to information and canalize opinion as well as act as watchdog, he further said.

“Why do we support media in Pakistan, we do it as promotion of freedom, democracy and respect to human rights is key priorities for foreign policy not only in Pakistan but throughout the world”, he said.

He firmly believes that freedom of expression is important for every democratic society.

The ambassador congratulated the winners and said that Denmark’s support to freedom of expression and a free and diverse media is intended to contribute to the development of a platform for democratic debate, to reduce poverty, and to promote peace and security in Pakistan.

“By putting regional or district level information on the national agenda, we support a crucial process needed to support the overall national development in Pakistan”, said Ambassador Thonke. The ambassador awarded 11 winners from both print and electronic media from different parts of the four regions for their outstanding journalism and reporting skills and for highlighting regional issues pertinent to national development, said a press release issued here Tuesday. Rubina Rasheed of CPNE, who attended the Journalism Excellence Award ceremony, said that promoting regional media and news stories for the greater development of media and development was a great initiative as it also augmented the reporting skills of journalists in Pakistan.  The ceremony was held under IL’s Small Grants Program with the aim to recognize the best news stories from various regions showcasing critical analysis and information on important issues from their local areas.