Government set to appoint new PTA chairman
ISLAMABAD: The government is all set to appoint a controversial official who is facing a probe by the Public Accounts Committee, as the new chairman the Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA).
The Public Accounts Committee, now headed by the ruling PPP leader, discussed in detail the alleged mega corruption and irregularities in different affairs of PTA including grey-trafficking last Thursday and after going through evidence and documents ordered placing Chairman PTA Mohammad Yaseen and other top officials on exit control list.
Government sources say the name of Kamran Ali, presently member (Law), Ministry of Information Technology and Ex-DG Law PTA, is on top of the list of people being considered to head the country’s regulator of telecom sector. Kamran was a close advisor of the present chairman PTA on all issues regarding charges pending before PAC. Important members of industry and government-controlled telecommunication company are fully supporting him because R&D fund contribution was made 0.5% from 1% since year 2004 during his tenure in PTA.
When The News approached Kamran Ali for his version he said that he is thankful to anybody supporting his elevation as the chairman. “I have never given illegal benefits to any company and R&D fund summary was approved before my arrival in PTA. I had just communicated it forward,” Kamran said adding “I never advised present chairman on anything.” Kamran said that members of PTA remained busy in internal infighting and never let present chairman do anything.
Kamran was asked that according to PTA act only a sitting member of PTA could be elevated to chairman so how could he be appointed on this position. He replied with a strange logic. “There are three members in PTA – member finance, member technical and chairman is also a member – I could be appointed as member and subsequently be made chairman, Kamran said.
Besides these two, the other names on government’s list include niece of one of the top officials serving in one of the top constitutional offices, a present chairman of another authority (who is known for his bad reputation) and another top official serving in the authority. According to PTA sources the top men in the present ruling dispensation are giving great importance to this appointment because of the upcoming auction of the 3G licences.
Akram Shaheedi, Press secretary to the prime minister, was repeatedly contacted but he didn’t take the call. He was sent question through SMS asking whether prime minister is all set to appoint new chairman PTA from these tainted officials, but he never replied.