ISLAMABAD: The country’s electronic media regulator is likely to have its chairman appointed on Monday, after a gap of almost 18 months.
“I have been hearing many things on the media but I think that the notification of my appointment is expected to be issued on Monday as many staff members are out of the city and the communication system is very limited,” Absar Alam, the expected chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) said, here on Friday, while talking to Dawn.
However, he said he was not aware of the current status of the file and neither was he following it.
The post has been swinging for a long time as the government dismissed the former chief of the authority Chaudhry Rashid on Dec 15, 2013, and appointed an official of the Information Group, Rao Tehsin, as acting chairman.
However the following day Chaudhry Rashid went to the Islamabad High Court (IHC) which nullified the appointment of Rao Tehsin and granted him a stay against the removal.
Later, the PML-N government removed him in April last year.
This time the order was issued by President Mamnoon Hussain and the government claimed it had followed the modus operandi prescribed by the court.
While Mr Rashid again approached the court, the situation remained confusing and Pemra’s Executive Director Kamaluddin Tipu became the acting chairman.
The Supreme Court asked the government in August to appoint a new chairman within 30 days, but the process took longer because of a stay order from the IHC.
On Oct 6, the IHC sent Chaudhry Rashid packing, paving the way for the government to appoint a new head of Pemra.
A division bench, consisting of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Athar Minallah, issued a 28-page verdict after hearing arguments from the government as well as Chaudhry Rashid’s counsel, setting aside an earlier single-bench order that had reinstated him.
Mr Alam, a long time print and electronic media journalist, was one of 40 candidates, Including Mr Tipu, interviewed to head the regulator by a committee headed by Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid.
Published in Dawn, October 24th, 2015