Press minister, 12 attaches to be posted abroad
ISLAMABAD, March 02 ,2005: The government has appointed a press minister, eight press counsellors and four press attaches for posting in Pakistani missions abroad to improve the country’s image, official sources told Dawn on Tuesday.
These press officers have been selected by a committee headed by Federal Minister for Information Sheikh Rashid Ahmad through an “short” interview. More than 50 candidates had applied for postings.
The other members of the committee included Minister of State for Information Aneesa Zaib Tahirkheli and Information Secretary Shahid Rafi. Farzana Qureshi has been appointed against the vacant post of the press minister at London.
The other press counsellors – officers of BPS 19 – include private secretary of information minister, Muhammad Azam; private secretary of information secretary, Muhammad Jamil Khan; deputy press secretary at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat, Shafqat Jalil; deputy secretary at Prime Minister’s Secretariat, Masood Anwar; deputy press secretary to the former prime minister, Mobashira Bajwa; director information ministry, Dr Zafar Iqbal; director ABC, Imran Gardezi and director administration in Radio Pakistan, Ijaz Ahmad. The places of posting of these officers would be decided later, said the officials.
The four press attaches – officers of BPS 18 – include private secretary of state minister for information, Raja Iftikhar; prime minister’s public relations officer (PRO), Captain (Retd) Abdul Majeed Niazi; deputy director in foreign office, Nadeem Kiani and health advisor, Dr. Najeeb.
The information group officials, who appeared in the interview, confided to Dawn that the screening of competent officials for posting abroad through a “short” interview was not possible. They proposed that the selection should be made through a proper test followed by an exhaustive interview.
The officials said no proper criterion was being followed and the selection depended only on the recommendations of high-ups, and the judgment of competence of any official through a short interview for such important postings was impossible.