ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) will likely to appoint known TV anchor and Supreme Court lawyer Naeem Bokhari as its new information secretary by replacing his predecessor Naeemul Haq.

Serious discussions are under way within the party to appoint Naeem Bokhari as the new information secretary of PTI as part of the activation and reformation of party’s Central Media Department before launching a protest movement over Panama Leaks, sources privy to the development told The Nation yesterday.

Naeem Bokhari has recently joined PTI at an Iftar dinner hosted by himself in honour of Chairman PTI Imran Khan where Bokhari had said that ‘he was an old guard of Khan’.

The party sources informed that Naeem Bokhari is a potential candidate for the slot of secretary information as the party chief has recently started reforming the media cell.

Khan has recently transferred Chaudhry Rizwan, a PTI office bearer working for the last 10 years with the party, out the media department. A PTI insider said that some officials of PTI’s Central Media Department were being shown the door after Eidul Fitr as Khan was personally looking into the performance of the party’s media wing and evaluations were being made of all individuals working there. The PTI chief on June 20 appointed Syed Noman Shah as head of PR for the Central Media Department.

A PTI leader wishing anonymity said that PTI was going through a transitional phase as all of its organizational structures had been dissolved. “Now the party is planning to launch an anti-government movement, so restructuring of its media cell would be a good decision to enhance its performance to mobilize the masses at maximum level,” he said. He further said that Bokhari would be a good choice for the PTI as he had been in contact with Khan for a long time and had been helping him in fund raising for the Shaukat Khanum Cancer Hospital.

Iftikhar Durrani, the head of PTI’s Central Media Department, said that he was not aware of any such development. “As far as the appointment of Naeem Bokhari as secretary information is concerned, I have not been conveyed about any such decision,” he said

Naeem Bokhari could not be contacted despite repeated attempts as his cell number was switched off. Another PTI leader said that Mr Bokhari might not accept this slot as secretary information was a fulltime job. He is a Supreme Court lawyer and might not get enough time for the slot of chief spokesman of the party.

A majority of people within the PTI are of the view that Bokhari has a good ability to articulate his point of view and with this ability, he can be a good choice for Imran as chief spokesperson of PTI.

An official of PTI Central Secretariat said that Imran Khan was quite satisfied with the performance of his close aide Naeemul Haq and the appointment of new secretary information can only be a move to bring a veteran TV anchor on this slot.

In May last year, the PTI chairman had replaced Dr Shireen Mazari with Naemul Haq as the party’s central secretary information. Khan the other day had appointed Jehangir Khan Tareen and Shah Mahmood Qureshi as the party’s secretary general and vice chairman respectively.

Bokhari remained controversial in 2007 when he wrote a letter to then President General (retd) Pervez Mushrraf against then Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammad Chaudhry for allegedly misusing of powers. Musharraf had deposed Mr Chaudhry on the basis of this letter.