ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday appointed Principal Information Officer (PIO) Saleem Baig as the chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) for four years.
The government made the announcement of Mr Baig’s appointment after President Mamnoon Hussain approved the summary of Mr Baig’s appointment sent to him by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
The post had been vacant since removal of Absar Alam, the previous chairman of Pemra, on the order of the Lahore High Court in December last year.
In April this year, the Supreme Court had ordered the government to hire a competent person to head the electronic media regulatory body.
In May, a six-member committee was formed by the government and it was given the responsibility of searching and selecting a suitable candidate for the vacant Pemra chairman post.
The committee, headed by Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission Sartaj Aziz, interviewed several candidates for the purpose.
Around 171 applications were received and the ministry of information and broadcasting had shortlisted 61 candidates, including Saleem Baig, Senate Secretary Amjad Pervez, former Radio Pakistan director general Sheraz Latif and Pemra General Manager Sardar Irfan.
The committee included members of the Pakistan Broadcasters’ Association (PBA).
Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Tuesday objected to the appointment of Mr Baig as the Pemra chairman, and termed the federal government move a violation of its order of April 1 which had banned the federal and provincial governments from making new appointments and carrying out transfers and postings across the country to ensure holding of fair and free elections in July this year.
In a statement issued here, the ECP directed the ministry of information and broadcasting to respond to the commission’s objection and explain its position to it.
Earlier, the ECP had rejected a request of the federal government for selection of the Pemra chief.
Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2018