During its first session on Tuesday, the Press Council of Pakistan expressed its commitment to work for the freedom of press as well as ensuring Ethical Code of Practice as stipulated in the Press Council of Pakistan Ordinance 2002. These are obviously no ordinary tasks that the body has set for itself. Apparently, it gives the impression that the formation of the council is a step that will prove good for press in the country. However, it sounds almost too good to be true. The notion of a government organ ensuring freedom of press is as much deceptive as it is self-contradictory. Usually, governments around the world are hostile to an outspoken and brave media and ours is no exception. Any such media watchdog can, on the contrary, run the risk of being used as a tool of intimidation. More alarming is the fact that it was particularly the Musharraf regime that was eager to set up this institution. In fact, it wanted an institutional sanction to muzzle the press especially at a time when it supported the struggle for an independent judiciary and restoration of the deposed judges. Meanwhile, Chairman of the PCP Raja Shafqat Abbasi has stated that the formation of the council is nothing short of a milestone. Also during the meeting he expressed his and the PCPs members resolve to work diligently to run the affair of the council. These commitments appear to have been made in good faith and they should be welcomed. At the same time, the PCP is expected to function purely for the function for which it has been created. It must guard against any political governments attempts to manipulate it to suppress the voice of truth. There are certain clauses in the Ordinances Ethical Code of Practice particularly those relating to libellous and slanderous material that are open to abuse by the government and other detractors. Amendments in these are in order if independence of the press is to be ensured. It bears pointing out that media has earned its respect in society by boldly and bravely covering issues which previously never saw the time of day. Concerns about the professionalism of journalists and media houses ought to be addressed no doubt, but without infringing upon the institutions inalienable right to report impartially. It is hoped the Press Council of Pakistan will be used a stepping stone in this cause.