ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday issued notices to the secretary information and broadcasting and members of the governing board of Pakistan Television (PTV) on a petition filed against the alleged controversial appointment of Managing Director (MD) Arshad Khan.
Pervaiz Akhter Bhatti, Secretary General AllPTV Employees and Workers Union CBA, in his petition requested the court to set aside the notification giving the acting charge of PTV to Mr Khan and declare steps taken by him as illegal. He also sought a decree against the PTV board of directors.
The appointment of the MD as well as the board of directors of the state-run television has become a ‘bone of contention’ between information minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain and prime minister’s special assistant on political affairs Naeemul Haq.
While the information minister is against the MD and always spoke against him in the public, Mr Haq tweeted last week: “The Prime Minister has full confidence in the Board of PTV and its management and believes PTV should be an independent organisation like BBC and the government will take all steps necessary towards that end.”
Mr Hussain promptly responded by quoting Mirza Ghalib’s famous verse: Hua hai Shah ka musahib phiray hay itrata, wagarna shehar mai Ghalilb ki abro kya hai. [His elevation to the king has made him arrogant otherwise he is worthless.]
Before the IHC, Ali Nawaz Kharal, counsel for the petitioner, argued that giving the acting charge of MD to Mr Khan and his appointment as the chairman board of directors were against the law and the judgment of the Supreme Court.
He said the apex court in a case related to the appointment of Ataul Haq Qasmi as the MD PTV had laid down certain criteria which were ignored while appointing Mr Khan.
He requested the court to declare the appointment as illegal.
The court issued notices to MD PTV and other respondents, including secretary information, and adjourned hearing to March 7.
Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2019