ISLAMABAD (APP) - Secretary of Information and Broadcasting Mansoor Suhail has said that emergence of free and independent media in Pakistan has not only enabled the masses to have access to information, but it was also proving helpful to the elected government to reach the masses more effectively. In an interview with the agency here he said that development of independent and vibrant media was pre-requisite for success of democracy in any country and its expansion in Pakistan in recent years had increased its access to the general public. Mansoor Suhail, who took charge as Secretary Information on Oct 28, said that he had been given an important assignment as Secretary Information and he needs cooperation of all media organisations. To a question, he said that the government believed in freedom of expression and had no plans to put any restrictions on it. He said that the government would provide all possible facilities to media so that the journalists could perform their duties in a better professional environment. The Information Secretary said that his ministry would organise workshops to educate the media persons for safe but effective coverage in insurgency-hit areas as safety of journalists was top priority of the present government. He said that role of media in the society was to provide information to the masses and the government was satisfied with its performance. Answering a question about Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), Mansoor Suhail said that its role was that of a facilitator and not of a controller. To a question, he said that Voice of America (VOA) is not the only media organisation with which Radio Pakistan had entered into an agreement but it was cooperating with Radios of several other friendly countries, including China Radio International. He said that the agreement with VOA was one of the many ventures of the PBC with international media organisations by following the due process and rules. The Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) has sold our airtime to the VOA and its programmes broadcast over the PBC network are operational under a strict regime of checks and balances, monitoring and editorial guidelines to safeguard our national interests, Mansoor Suhail said.