ISLAMABAD -  The Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) Thursday said the government committee formed to probe the news-gate was not mandated to interrogate the journalist or the staff of the concerned newspaper.

PCP Chairman Dr Salahud Din Mengal chaired the 13th general council meeting of the PCP and representatives of the APNS, CPNE and the PFUJ attended the meeting.

The PCP opined that matters such as the news story about national security fall within its jurisdiction and should have been brought before it as envisaged in the Press Council of Pakistan Ordinance.

The meeting discussed the formation of the probe committee formed by the federal government on the publication of news story in daily Dawn in its issue of 6th October 2016, which held its first meeting on Thursday (yesterday).

The council unanimously resolved that the government probe committee should not proceed against the newspaper or its staff and also not insist upon divulgence of its source of information in the conduct of its inquiry.

The council was of the view that matters such as these fell within its jurisdiction and should have been brought before the PCP in the event of any grievance as envisaged in the Press Council of Pakistan Ordinance.

The council pointed out that it is unfortunate that neither the government nor any of its departments referred this matter to the PCP .

Talking to The Nation, Mengal said keeping in view the importance of the issue, the council deemed it fit to discuss the matter. The minutes of the 12th general council meeting were presented before the council.

All other agenda items of 13th General Council were also discussed in detail in the meeting, which were approved by the council.

The council appreciated all the efforts done by the PCP chairman including publication of Annual Report 2015-2016. The chairman concluded the meeting with a vote of thanks to members of the council. 

The representatives of the APNS, the CPNE and the PFUJ including Mujibur Rehman Shami, Kazi Asad Abid, Aamer Mahmood, Wamiq Zuberi, Ali Kazi, Anwar Sajdi, Ibrahim Khan, Dr Shah Jahan Syed, Iqbal Jaffri, Khurshid Tanweer, Nasir Zaidi, and PCP Acting Registrar Ejaz Hussain Baqri attended the meeting.