After losing in Supreme Court, PEMRA trying to fight case in media -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

After losing in Supreme Court, PEMRA trying to fight case in media

By: Ansar Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: After failing to defend itself in the apex court, Pemra has decided to fight its case through the media by challenging the facts that were produced before the apex court but remained undefended.

In its rebuttal to The News story, the Pemra’s General Manager Media stated that the newspaper has been misled by disgruntled elements by providing exaggerated and deceptive information just to tarnish the image of the organization for their personal gratification of ill wills.

Interestingly, these remarks were used by the Pemra despite knowing the fact that most of the information as published in The News story is part of the Supreme Court’s record and was presented to the respected judges by senior journalist Hamid Mir.

The Pemra rebuttal also contained white lies and interesting twists of facts besides misquoting appointment rule on “additional charge” and “acting charge” basis to justify the brigade of its baboos working on “Look After” basis.

A day after Pemra’s Look After Chairman Dr Jabbar was restrained from acting as chairman/acting chairman by the Supreme Court for having no authority to do so, the Pemra press release not only reminded that Jabbar was allowed the charge of chairman Pemra by the information ministry but also justified the appointments of its officers on Look After charge basis by arguing that all the officers who alleged to have been given look after charge are regular Pemra employees.

“The charge of vacant posts was entrusted upon these regular employees under the legitimate provisions of Pemra Service Regulations….”The May 14, 2011 notification of the ministry of information allowing Dr Jabbar to “look after” the work of chairman Pemra could not stand the trial of the court but Pemra still has the cheeks to insist that its “look after” official are appointed legitimately.

Tomorrow Pemra might come up with another “rebuttal” to state it has no look after baboo, therefore, references of two notifications of Pemra, also produced before the SC, and are given here.

On 15 May, 2011 an office order was issued to allow Muhammad Farooq, regional general manager Islamabad, to “look after” the work of DG operations. On Aug 30, 2012 another office order was issued by Pemra to allow a deputationist Muhammad Salim to “look after” the work of DG in his own pay scale.

Regarding those holding higher posts, the Pemra spokesman insists:, “The charge even not benefit them in any monetary term as they have been getting all perks and privileges of their actual post and not a single penny is provided to them by Pemra for the extra work done.

This speaks of their commitment and loyalty to the organization purely in pursuance of austerity measures.”However, sources in the Pemra say that almost all such officials are not only using official vehicles beyond their legal authorization and equivalent to the higher posts they are holding but also enjoy enhanced petrol ceiling, TA/DA and even monthly allowance.

Partially confirming the report that Dr Jabbar was acting as chairman as well as executive member but, the Pemra spokesman denied that he was holding the posts of DG technical and contented that no post of DG Human Resource exists in Pemra.

The facts, however, are that Dr Jabbar never appointed any person as DG Technical after he was made Look After chairman. There has also been one Shahzad Nawaz Cheema, who served the authority as DG Human Resource (also reflected in Pemra’s files). Even the official website of Pemra shows executive member/member technical as one man’s jobs.

The Pemra spokesman also contest that the DG (Policy) is looking after the activities of Finance wing and insist that “No sanctioned post of DG (Finance) exists in Pemra.” The Pemra’s official website shows a post of DG Finance, amongst its DGs. Additionally one Abdul Basit Khan has served for almost three years as DG Finance in Pemra. Khan for some time has also enjoyed the additional charge of DG admn but at one point of time he was exclusively looking after the post of DG Finance when one Shahrukh Nusrat was serving as DG admn.

The spokesman also said that there is no sanctioned post of DG (Monitoring) and content that Monitoring wing is part of the Operations but the fact is that one Shahzad Nawaz Cheema has served the authority as DG Monitoring and DG HR.

The spokesman also says that there is also no post of GM (IT) in Pemra but the Pemra’s official website’s organizational structure chart shows the GM IT working directly under executive member/DG technical.

The Pemra spokesman wrongfully says that The News report about Secretary to Authority and GM Admin is self contradictory “because it is also mentioned in the very own news that Mr. Sohail Asif is working as Secretary to the Authority and Mr. Khurram Siddiqui is looking after as GM (Admin)”. The News report had actually said that Sohail Asif was GM admn till recently.

The spokesman also speaks high of Pemra and its officials despite the fact that the authority has simply failed to play the role of a regulator. One wonders if Pemra is really a house of competent, dedicated and skillful officials then how a vilification campaign was allowed to be launched against the Chief Justice and the superior judiciary in selected news channels, why the respected judges were abused and cursed and such illegal shows were repeatedly telecasted. There has also been no check on illegal channels and growing obscenity in the electronic media. Still the Pemra spokesman believes that all is perfect at its end.


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