ISLAMABAD – Chairman Press Council of Pakistan and ex lawyer Raja Shafqat Abbasi said on Wednesday that it is matter of happiness and pride for Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) to become member of the World Association of Press Councils (WAPC).

Talking to PTV, he said we have applied for its membership in last November 2011 and it is an autonomous body of 40 members countries.

He said prior to it membership, the WAPC thoroughly investigated our organization from every aspect, our links with the government and other organizations.

“Its a welcoming move for the journalist and media persons adding now our responsibilities have been increased and PCP should have to play more vibrant role after being its member” adding the member countries also paid tribute to those journalists who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom of press, he said.

Replying to a question, he said free and responsible media is the motto of PCP as our constitution provides this freedom of press to us and it is the special case with Pakistan only as compare to other countries like India who have not given this right to their public constitutionally.

He added our constitution have made the press a free body.

We have introduced this freedom of expression on educational and organizational levels also, he said.

Replying to another question he said PCP itself is an independent and autonomous body elected by the PUJF, RIUJ, PCB, Bar of Council and others.

He said we have also issued instructions to all academic institutions for imparting press information and education as theoretic and practice journalism have to be merged to know about media ethics.

“PCP ordinance carries 17 clauses and we are trying to implement these in its true spirit. We have gone through other countries press rules and media ethics in this regard”.

Talking about PCP’S membership he said we should have earlier become its member as its need is enormous adding PCP rules will be implemented on print and electronic media as well.

He said that 18 crore public is the biggest stakeholder in media field as we are accountable in front of them.

We have also decided to include regional newspapers in our sphere to be more vigilant about the issues.

“If any direct or indirect interference in the free flow of information by anyone or government or political party happen, PCP will act as a shield to protect freedom of press and freedom of information”, he added.