Noted columnist gets prized London job
ISLAMABAD: The PPP government has approved the first “political appointment” of a top columnist, Irfan Hussain, who has been chosen for the prized post of Press Minister in London.
Minister press and a senior member of Information Group Imran Gardezi, who was working on this post in London, is now being directed to return to Islamabad. Information Minister Sherry Rehman is said to have expressed the desire to give him some important appointment in the ministry keeping his vast experience and competency in view. Imran is widely respected in the British media for his professional competency and moderate approach in dealing with difficult issues.
When contacted by The News, one of the top officials of the ministry of information, who refused to be identified, confirmed that Irfan Hussain has been chosen to serve as minister press in London. It was confirmed that this appointment was made on the personal request of the columnist who had been writing columns under the name of “Mazdak” when he was serving in the government.
Meanwhile, background interviews reveal that the appointment of High Commissioner and ambassador is discretionary, with quota reserved for political appointees. And London has seen a lot of them, including Akbar S Ahmed, Maleeha Lodhi and now Wajid Shamsul Hasan – all former journalists or writers.
But the post of press minister in London is a cadre post of the information group, but ex-army men and government servants, who use the media as stepping-stone, have been occupying this post.
Earlier, columnist Major (retd) Kamran Shafi served as press minister, now it is the turn of Irfan hussain, who was previously an accounts group officer. PML-Q Senator Tariq Azeem, before joining politics, also served as advisor on press to the High Commissioner.
Source: The News