ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday rejected a summary containing three names for the post of chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA) and directed the ministry of information to advertise the post, The Nation has learnt.
The summary was forwarded to the PM by the ministry one and half months ago and names included Pervaiz Rathor, acting chairman PEMRA, Naeem Khan, director general inter publicity wing (IPW) of information ministry, and Fayyaz Khan, former DG IPW. Well-placed source in information ministry informed The Nation that the PM sent back the summary rejecting all three names and instructed the newly appointed Acting Secretary Information Muhammad Azam to advertise the post.
The officials at ministry said that the post would be advertised within weeks after consultation with Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid. The sources at PM House said that after removal of managing director PTV Muhammad Malick by Islamabad High Court last week the government did not want to make appointments without fulfilling the given criteria. The sources said that anybody who fulfils the criteria would be eligible to apply for the post.
The federal government has not appointed a regular chairman of authority after President Mamnon Hussain removed ex-Chairman PEMRA Chaudry Rashid on the recommendation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Chaudry Rashid has already challenged his removal in Islamabad High Court. The case is still pending at the court.
The government appointed Pervaiz Rathor as acting chairman after the Geo TV controversy, as defence ministry forwarded a reference against GEO TV for seeking suspension of its licence after it blamed chief of ISI for attack on its leading journalist Hamid Mir.
It is also important to note that on Monday last, the Senate’s committee on information and broadcasting asked the government to ensure implementation of media code of conduct before July 15.
The PEMRA is one of the main stakeholders in implementation of the code of conduct. Sources in information ministry said that the government after the latest episode wanted to make PEMRA more powerful to ensure check and balance on electronic media. Federal Minister Pervaiz Rashid had already said that PEMRA’s role was very important during the latest episode.