Srinagar: Fulfilling a longstanding demand of journalists, the government handed over a two-storey building at Poloview for use as a press club on Monday in Srinagar.
Salim Pandit, president of the Press Club Committee, opened the Aiwan-e-Sahafat, as the club has been named, after Joint Director Information, Zahoor Ahmad Mir, formally handed over the possession of the building that has the address, 9-HB Polo View.
The Press Club Committee, which took over the building, is the representative body of various journalist associations in Kashmir.
Pandit along with committee vice president Shuja-ul-haq, general secretary Shamim Mehraj, secretary administration Asif Qureshi, and members Ehsan Fazili, Haroon Rasheed, Shahnawaz Khan, Mir Farhat and Habib Naqash formally took possession of the building in presence of other media persons.
The two-storey building was earlier in possession of the Information Department and served as its directorate until it moved to an expansive complex nearby.
Pandit termed the inauguration of the Kashmir Press Club, its name in English, as a historic day and thanked Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti. He said that the press club was a longstanding demand of the journalist fraternity. “Kashmir Press club was first started by journalists like Sayeed Malik and Khwaja Sonauallah in 1970. However, later that year the government closed it down,” Pandit said.
Pandit said the establishment of the Press Club was the result of a collective initiative of Kashmir journalists and the incumbent government. “We would try to make it functional as soon as possible,” he said. “The press club will be a meeting point for all journalists where they can exchange ideas.”
Farooq Javaid Khan, president of the Kashmir Photographers Association, welcomed the establishment of the Kashmir Press Club. He said that it would reduce the gap between common people and the government.
Deputy Commissioner Srinagar Syed Abid Rashid Shah and SSP Srinagar Imtiaz Ismail Parray visited the club and congratulated the journalist fraternity.
Shah assured that the administration would help the press club in all possible manner for its smooth functioning. While at the club, he directed officials to ensure the cleanliness of the building and its surroundings.
The Deputy Commissioner assured that the renovation of the building would soon be undertaken.