President’s media team comes under special focus
* Data of family, friends being collected after shoe incident
By Dilshad Azeem
ISLAMABAD: The Presidency has gone harsh on the official media persons covering President Zardari, at home and on his foreign tours, in the aftermath of the leakage of shoe-throwing incident in Birmingham.
“Relevant government departments and state-rimmedia entities involved in covering the presidentÂ’s activities have been asked by Aiwan-e-Sadr to fill up an exclusively designed “special bio data form” also bringing the individuals’ relatives under check,” sources disclosed.
Available with The News, the 20-point proforma calls for provision of details of relatives in defence service whether serving or retired, the names and occupations of brothers and sisters, their spouses, father-in-law and spouse’s brothers and sisters along with their occupation and political affiliations.
The Presidency, they maintained, cited security as the major reason behind the requirement for such detailed information including about individuals as well as the bio data of their relatives.
“Actually, this is the consequence of the Birmingham episode as it is for the first time in Aiwan-e-Sadr’s history that such information is being obtained from officials mostly covering the president’s engagements in the last two or more years.”
The forms were dispatched to the Pakistan Television, Radio Pakistan, Associated Press of Pakistan (APP), information ministry and other government departments from where the personnel are deputed to be part of president’s entourage, in or outside Pakistan.
“I am unaware of the issuance of such form but it may be for security reasons,” the presidential spokesman Farahtaullah Babar said when approached for comment.
To a query, the spokesman said that he has not been sent the bio-data prescription to be filled up and submitted. “I have not seen the form and do not think that there might be any other reason except security clearance.”
The form also seeks under- taking (oath) from the personnel amid the heads of their organisations to furnish correct and detailed information such as caste, sects and religion of the brothers and sisters and their life-partners. 1es one will have to specify what kind of profession they (relatives) are adopting.”
Information about domicile, passport, permanent address including police station, relatives in foreign countries to include parents, brothers and sisters of both husband and wife” are the details required in the said form.
“Their previous employment or occupations with provision of the name of the organisation, nature of work, place, duration and reasons for leaving the service have also been sought.”
The column number 14 requires details of “the near relatives in defence services serving/retired (to include only parents/brothers/sisters of both husband and wife,” about their ranks/status, relationship, Regt/corps/ branch/dept etc.
The form provides that the individuals would have to present three persons (not relatives) who have been acquainted with you for at least five yearsÂ” and their present address and status would have to be provided.
Source: The News