Musharraf finds TV spokespersons weak
ISLAMABAD – President General Pervez Musharraf’s discontent with the quality of government representation in electronic media, particularly private TV channels, has made his secretariat direct the prime minister’s secretariat to work with the ministry of information and broadcasting to streamline the procedures for selecting government spokespersons.
Sources told Daily Times that the president’s secretariat (public) had written a formal letter to PM’s secretariat titled: ‘Streamlining the Procedure of Government Functionaries Appearing on Private Media Channels’.
“Success of various government policies and programmes largely depends on their effective dissemination to the masses. In this, TV talk shows provide an excellent opportunity to the government to make its policies heard and understood by a large section of society,” sources quoted the letter as saying.
However, adds the letter, it has been observed with much concern that senior government officials are reluctant to avail such opportunities to highlight the government’s point of view and instead, low level functionaries appear on these programmes. “These officials, not well versed with the subject, fail to adequately reflect the government’s point of view,” says the letter.
“It has been desired to streamline the procedure by involving the ministry of information and all concerned ministries and divisions to nominate government functionaries to speak on important issues,” says the letter. The letter also recommends that the ministry of information act as a coordinating agency to liaise between government and private media channels.
Sources revealed that on receiving the abovementioned instructions from the president’s secretariat, the PM’s secretariat had promptly conveyed the president’s concerns to the cabinet division through a letter.
“It is imperative to streamline the procedure, by involving the ministry of information & broadcasting and all other ministries and division to nominate government functionaries to speak on important issues as and when such occasions arise,” sources quoted from the letter. “The cabinet division is, therefore, requested to issue necessary instructions in this regard to all ministries and divisions for implementation,” the letter adds.
Sources said that the PM’s secretariat also directed the ministry of information to act as a coordinating agency in this regard.
Daily Times learnt that the cabinet division had formally conveyed the instructions to secretaries of all ministries and division in a letter.
“You are requested to ensure meticulous compliance in close coordination with the secretary information and broadcasting”, sources quoted the cabinet division’s letter to all secretaries.
Source: Daily Times