ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday appointed former Judge of the Lahore High Court, Raja Muhammad Shafqat Khan Abbasi, as Chairman of the Press Council of Pakistan. Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar said that the appointment was made on the advice of the Prime Minister under Section 6 of the Press Council of Pakistan Ordinance. He said that the Press Council of Pakistan came into being through an Ordinance in 2002 as an autonomous and independent body to implement a code of conduct for the press as contained in the schedule of the Ordinance.
The Council is located in Islamabad with sub-offices in each provincial capital and its expenses are met by grant-in-aid provided by the government.The Council consists of 19 members and its Chairman is appointed by the President, from amongst the retired judges of the Supreme Court of Pakistan or a person qualified to be a judge of the Supreme Court, he said.
Farhatullah Babar said that as required the professional newspaper bodies including the APNS, CPNE and PFUJ each have nominated 4-members while one representative each has been nominated by the Pakistan Bar Council, Higher Education Commission, Vice Chairman of Bar Council, the National Commission on the Status of Women in Pakistan, the Leader of the House in the National Assembly and the Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly. One Mass Media educationist will be nominated by the Press Council after the appointment of the Chairman, he said.The position of Chairman has been vacant after Justice Javed Iqbal re-joined the Supreme Court of Pakistan.Summary for the appointment of Chairman was moved by the Ministry of Information which had proposed three names for the slot, he said.
Raja Shafqat Abbasi, an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan has extensive experience in constitutional, civil, administrative and criminal law. He has been the youngest elected Member of Pakistan Bar Council, Member of Punjab Bar Council, Chairman Executive Committee Punjab Bar Council and has over 20 years of legal, parliamentary and public service experience.Author of many important legal cases published in various law journals of Pakistan he has specialized in dispute resolution, negotiation, legislative writing and arbitration.
The members of the Press Councils are:-
ALL PAKISTAN NEWSPAPERS SOCIETY (APNS):
i) Mr. Shakil-ur-Rehman, Chief Executive, Jang Group of Publications.
ii) Mr. Mujib-ur-Rehman Shami, Chief Editor, Daily Pakistan, Lahore.
iii) Syed Faseih Iqbal, Chief Executive, Zamana Group of Newspapers.
iv) Ms. Jugnoo Mohsin, Chief Editor, Weekly The Friday Times.
COUNCIL OF PAKISTAN NEWSPAPER EDITORS (CPNE):
i) Mr. Majid Nizami, Chief Editor, Nawa-e-Waqt Group of Publications.
ii) Mr. Zia Shahid, Chief Editor, Khabrain Group of Newspapers.
iii) Mr. Wamiq A. Zuberi, Editor, Daily Business Recorder.
iv) Mr. Siddiq Baloch, Chief Editor, Daily Balochistan Express, Quetta.
PAKISTAN FEDERAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS (PFUJ):
i) Mr. Ghulam Nabi Mughal, Frontier Post, Karachi.
ii) Mr. Bachal Laghari, Nawa-e-Waqt, Karachi.
iii) Mr. Iqbal Jafri, Nawa-e-Waqt, Islamabad.
iv) Mr. Nasir Zaidi, Daily The News, Islamabad.
PAKISTAN BAR COUNCIL:
Mr. Abu’l Inam, Vice Chairman, Pakistan Bar Council.
HIGHER EDUCATION COMMISSION (HEC):
Ms Aayesha Ikram, Deputy Director (Publications)
NATIONAL COMMISSION ON THE STATUS OF WOMEN:
Mrs Nasreen Aslam Azhar
LEADER OF THE HOUSE OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY:
Mrs Yasmeen Rehman, MNA(PPP)
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION OF NATIONAL ASSEMBLY:
Ms Saira Afzal Tarar, MNA (PML(N). – APP