Javed Jabbar resigns as minister, adviser -
Pakistan Press Foundation

Javed Jabbar resigns as minister, adviser

ISLAMABAD- Javed Jabbar tendered his resignation as Minister for Information and Media Development and as Advisor to the Chief Executive on National Affairs, a Cabinet Division notification said on Saturday. “I have resigned on my own. No body asked me to do so,” Javed Jabbar said.

The notification reads: “It is notified for general information that Mr. Javed Jabbar has tendered his resignation to the President on October 13, 2000 under Article 9 of the Appointment of Federal Ministers and Oath of Office Order (Order No. 7 of 1999) from the office of the Minister for Information and Media Development.

“Mr Javed Jabbar has also tendered his resignation to the competent authority on October 13, 2000 from the office of Advisor to the Chief Executive of Pakistan on National Affairs,” the notification said.

He is the 13th person to resign from the government. Prior to him twelve other persons stepped down either from the federal cabinet, governorship or provincial cabinet since October 12 last year.

Javed Jabbar had given personal reasons for stepping down after addressing a press conference on October 12 at the PID Auditorium where he defended the government and its policies.

“I wish success for General Pervez Musharraf government in the difficult and challenging task ahead,” said Jabbar. On Friday the government made significant changes in the Information Ministry. Senior-most information officer Syed Anwar Mehmood was appointed Additional Secretary (Incharge) of the Information Ministry. He replaced Salim Gul Shaikh who was appointed Director-General Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation to succeed Anwar Mehmood.

Source has learnt that there would be no more shake-up in the Information Ministry and most of the senior officers will continue working on their present assignments. Amid mass curiosity about the appointment of new information minister, highly-placed sources said the government has no intention to appoint new information minister. A new information setup will be made. It is most likely that Major General Rashid Qureshi, director general Inter-Services Public Relations, will be the incharge of the new setup. Qureshi is also Press Secretary to the chief executive. In case of his new assignment, he may vacate the office of the press secretary, sources added.

The government, said a senior official, has two options either to appoint Maj Gen Qureshi as incharge of information setup or advisor to the chief executive on information and media development. The second option is to appoint a person of high calibre as advisor to the chief executive, though chances of this option are very bleak.

It is also likely that the chief executive may keep the portfolio of information with him, said the official, and the information setup will be ran by Maj Gen Qureshi and Anwar Mehmood.

Javed Jabbar said he took a number of initiatives during his tenure from November 29 Iast year to June 1st this year as advisor and June 2 to October 13 as minister. He enlisted various measures taken by the information ministry during his tenure. These are: Abolition of newsprint quota system controlled by the ministry from June 17, 2000, Rationalisation of the import duty on newsprint to end variation between newspaper importers and general importers to eliminate black marketing and corruption. Reduction to PTCL/PTV in prohibitive costs charged to overseas TV teams in for ten minute satellite feeds from Pakistan to users such as BBC etc, from about US$1,200-1, 400 to only US$350 so as to ensure that from time to time, some good news also gets out of Pakistan as the rates are now in conformity charged by neighbouring countries e.g. India, UAE.

Formulation of the final draft and then formal approval by the Cabinet of the Ordinance to establish the Regulatory Authority for Media Broadcast Organisations (RAMBO) in April/August 2000 which will enable a transparent and open process for the issuance of licenses to independent Radio and TV channels.

Payment of all outstanding arrears worth over Rs 170 million to the newspaper owners pending for last 7 to 8 years with the federal government.

Preparation of the legal framework for the autonomisation of the Audit Bureau of Circulation.

Circulation of the draft Freedom of Information Ordinance to elicit public opinion and convening of five round tables across the country as well as broadcast of programmes on PBC, PTV.

Facilitating expression of candid and broad range of opinion on PTV, PBC critical issues such as CTBT, Kalabagh Dam, tax survey and documentation, Freedom of Information, etc.

Constitution of 7th Wage Board in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour. Conducting comprehensive dialogue with APNC and CPNE to finalise draft laws of the Press Complaint Council and the law to regulate printing passes and print journalists.

Launching of daily telecast of PTV Programmes through Prime TV to Western Europe/UK.

Launching of daily telecast of PTV News/ current affairs through ICTV to North America.

Conclusion of first ever rebroadcast agreements between PBC and BBC, DW, VOA.

Decision to introduce Pakistan News Net Work (PNN), a new more independent approach to news and current affairs for overseas audience and for Pakistan on PTV world and Channel-III from 26.11.2000.

Source: The News