Pemra clarifies but confirms scandal against Dr Jabbar -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pemra clarifies but confirms scandal against Dr Jabbar

Ahmad Noorani

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) in response to The News story on “Pemra’s mega recruitment scandal involving its acting chairman Dr Jabbar” issued a press release on Friday which has not denied but surprisingly confirmed all the facts.

Following is the text of the clarification issued by the Pemra on Friday: “Apropos to the half baked and concocted news story published in The News on March 11, 2011 with regards to suspension and transfer of some Pemra officials allegedly engineered to save acting chief from any anticipated court action. Pemra takes strong exception to the unconfirmed news published in a reputable national daily without verifying the facts from any responsible person in the organisation. Besides, the references of some senior officials quoted by the reporter are also devoid of facts as no one from the leading English daily consulted any of responsible officers prior to publishing such frivolous news.

Neither the said correspondent nor any other person from the newspaper had contacted Chairman Pemra, Mushtaq Malik for his view on the subject issue for the last one year or more or General Manager (HR) Safdar Rehman. Moreover, no one from the newspaper had approached Dr Abdul Jabbar, Acting Chairman Pemra for verifying the facts on the story narrated therein which reflects ulterior motives and prejudice of the correspondent.

This news item also falsely quoted Mushtaq Malik, Chairman Pemra and Safdar Rehman, General Manager (HR), endorsing the allegation stated in the news item. The fact of the matter is that the same news group published a misleading news vis-‡-vis forced leave of Chairman Pemra, Mushtaq Malik which was subsequently clarified by the authority in the later edition of the newspaper published on Monday, February 7, 2011 clarifying the reason of leave, being personal in nature.

As a matter of fact, Pemra has suspended three officials namely, Muhammad Ali, Assistant General Manager (HR), Khalid Mehmood, Senior Field Inspector, and Wajahat Abbas, Field Inspector on disciplinary grounds for their involvement in issuing two fake appointment letters in violation of prescribed appointment process i.e. without prior advertisement of posts and recommendations of the departmental selection committee. These appointment letters were ostensibly issued on 08.02.11 in favour of Khalid Mehmood and Wajahat Abbas by Muhammad Ali. On getting clue of this grave violation by HR officials, Acting Chairman Dr Abdul Jabbar not only ordered a high level inquiry to probe the irregularities committed by these officials but also suspended all those involved in such abetment.

Relevantly, it is also mentioned that petition filed by Wajahat Abbas and Khalid Mahmood in Lahore High Court, Rawalpindi Bench against the recruitment of assistant general managers in August 2010 has already been dismissed by the honourable court on 13.01.2011 on the basis of a statement submitted by the petitioners who admitted that their petition was based on misunderstanding and all the recruitments in Pemra were made on merit following procedural and legal requirements. Record of the court order and statement given by the petitioner is available with Pemra and can be furnished.”

The News responds: The News story had four main points: One, Dr Jabbar as head of the recruitment committee has recruited more than 385 persons against only 119 advertised posts of grade-19, 18, 17 and lower.

Two, most of those who got appointments on key positions either did not appear in the written tests or failed. Three, when the same was challenged in court, Dr Jabbar as head of the recruitment committee, to avoid court action against him, submitted a fake merit list in the court and was caught red-handed.

Fourth, on Thursday Dr Jabbar issued five notifications transferring and suspending officials who were trying to bring more facts of this mega corruption scandal before superior courts in his last ditch effort to save his skin.

The fact in The News story that a fake merit list was submitted by Dr Jabbar in court was a very serious allegation of a crime. The same is not even discussed in the clarification. All other facts are either not directly touched or are properly verified and confirmed in Pemra’s response.

As far as the misleading statement that The News did not contact Pemra chairman Mushtaq Malik on this issue in the last one year or more is concerned, is untrue and does not deny the basic fact. This correspondent had been contacting the Pemra chairman off and on with regard to different stories. The mobile companies record can be checked and produced in courts if needed.

The News had clearly written that chairman Pemra had told The News. Dr Jabbar was also contacted simply few days back and this was written in the story. In the last paragraph of the story it has been tried to give an impression that there was only one petition against Dr Jabbar’s corruption in court which was taken back by the petitioners.

The real fact for which The News has all the documentary evidence is that these four petitioners were qualified for the appointment but they were deprived of their right and thus they move the Lahore High Court (LHC).

After Dr Jabbar submitted a fake merit list in the court and the scam was caught red-handed, Pemra issued appointment letters to the petitioners and thus they took back their petition. Later after withdrawal of petition, Dr Jabbar cancelled the appointment letters.

However, it is untrue that there was only one petition as two more petitions are pending in the Islamabad High Court (IHC); one filed by Adnan Achakzai while another filed by 10 regular employees of Pemra namely Fasi-ur-Rehman, Usman Bin Umar, Abdul Rehman, Muhammad Asif, Mouzam Ali, Sohail Ehsan, Atif Raza Khan, Zakria Shafiq, Muhammad Kashif Salim and Muhammad Ramzan

On disclosure of the submission of fake documents by Dr Jabbar, executive member Pemra (Now Acting Chairman), Chairman Pemra Mushtaq Malik (Now on forced leave) made an inquiry committee comprising DG Admin Shahrukh Nusrat and DGM Legal Nasir Ayaz. Though this committee was not allowed to submit a report but documents available with The News show that there was tempering with the list submitted in the LHC.

Concerned officials of IHC confirmed to The News that petition of Pemra employees against recruitment scam is fixed for hearing on March 24, 2011. Some of the petitioners told The News that the issue of submission of fake documents in LHC will be taken up in IHC.
Source: The News
Date:3/12/2011