Public servants’ social media restricted -
Pakistan Press Foundation

Public servants’ social media restricted

Pakistan Press Foundation

PESHAWAR:The public employees in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa must obtain permission from their administrative secretaries or any other competent authorities before posting or sharing information related to government affairs in WhatsApp groups or on other social media forums.

The K-P government issued a statement pointing out that it had taken notice of public workers in WhatsApp groups engaging in discussions on political or ethnic issues as well as anti-state activities.

As per the new policy for government servants, they will not remain a part of any social media platform without the permission of the authorities concerned.

The province’s government employees will not participate in any public demonstrations or gatherings.

Participation in radio, TV and other media platforms will also require government permission.

The public servants will be bound to carry forward the policy and in case of a violation, they will be dealt with according to the government rules.

The Establishment Department has issued the policy directives to all K-P government agencies and competent authorities.

In April this year, the K-P caretaker ordered the closing of a project under which over 1,000 social media influencers were hired by the PTI-led government in the province to promote its initiatives.

In a letter dated April 4, 2023 addressed to the finance department, the Information and public relations department pointed out that over a thousand social media influencers were appointed under the “Establishment of Social Media Participatory Platforms for Public Awareness and Feedback Regarding Reforms Initiatives and Encouraging Civic Responsibility” programme.

It noted that following the dissolution of the K-P Assembly and the setting up of an interim government in the province, the project had lost its relevance.

“The Election Commission [of Pakistan] has also banned new projects and recruitment etc. Therefore, the interim government is not mandated by law, rules and regulations to carry out the [objectives of the project] and thus [its] continuation … is [a] wastage of resources of the public exchequer,” it added.

In June last year, the PTI-led K-P government recruited around 1,360 social media influencers in an attempt to counter “fake” news and negative propaganda against itself – a project costing a sum of Rs736 million.

With each social media influencer drawing a monthly salary of Rs25,000, they were also assigned the task of creating awareness at grassroots level about the “reforms” being carried out by the PTI-led K-P government for the province’s people.

According to official documents, an amount of Rs870 million was allocated for the project in the initial PC-1, However, this sum was reduced to Rs736 million in the revised PC-1.

Source: The Express Tribune

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