SC takes up Pemra appointments today -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

SC takes up Pemra appointments today

Ahmad Noorani

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court will take up on Wednesday the biggest recruitment scandal of the present government wherein some 400 children of the elite were recruited in the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) against only 119 advertised posts.

Most of them were selected without written tests and lacked requisite qualifications. Most importantly, the quota of the deprived province of Balochistan was ignored while making huge number of appointments.

PEMRA had advertised 119 posts – General Manager-GM (Grade-19, 5 positions), Deputy General Manager-DGM (Grade-18, 6 positions) and Assistant General Manager-AGM (Grade-17, 18 positions) and many low-cadre posts in 2009. The hiring process was completed by mid-2010 and against 119 advertised positions initially 381 persons were hired without merit and qualification. Six GMs were hired instead of advertised 5 positions and that too by flouting provincial quota. Similarly, 9 DGMs were hired against 6 advertised positions while 68 AGMs were hired against only 18 advertised positions.

PEMRA’s pay scales are more lucrative than other government organisations so mostly inexperienced youngsters were hired, almost all of them belonging to famous political and influential families of Pakistan. Besides, hundreds of persons were hired in lower grades against a few advertised posts in sheer violation of rules and regulations. Dr Jabbar, the then Executive Member PEMRA (now acting chairman PEMRA) was head of the recruitment committee which also included Sardar Irfan Ashraf Khan, DG Licensing, Shahzad Nawaz Cheema, the then DG HR, Safdar Rehman, GM HR and Muhammad Farooq, the then RGM Islamabad.

Dr Jabbar and Mushtaq Malik, former chairman PEMRA (now member Federal Services Tribunal) had always held that the recruitments were made in accordance with the rules and regulations.

Qamar-ul-Zaman Kaira, then federal information minister, when asked about inducting the sons and nephews of ministers and the elite in PEMRA defended the whole hiring procedure saying it was the right of the political government to make appointments and these appointments were made on merit. Some PEMRA employees who qualified for some senior positions and also had the requisite experience and qualifications had also applied for these positions but they were not selected. Two inspectors of PEMRA, Wajahat Abbas and Khalid Mehmood who were rejected for the post of AGM, challenged the entire hiring process in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Surprisingly, they were issued appointment letters immediately after they approached the IHC but later on those letters were withdrawn. Consequently they moved the Supreme Court.
Source: The News