Crisis grips PTV as eight officers shown the door

Published December 8, 2020
A new crisis gripped the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) on Monday after newly appointed chairman of the board of directors Naeem Bokhari signed an order terminating the services of eight contractual officers of the state-owned organisation. — PTV website/File
A new crisis gripped the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) on Monday after newly appointed chairman of the board of directors Naeem Bokhari signed an order terminating the services of eight contractual officers of the state-owned organisation. — PTV website/File

ISLAMABAD: A new crisis gripped the Pakistan Television Corporation (PTVC) on Monday after newly appointed chairman of the board of directors Naeem Bokhari signed an order terminating the services of eight contractual officers of the state-owned organisation.

The order has been signed by the director PTV admin and personnel, but there is no counter-signature by PTV managing director Amer Manzoor.

As per the order, services of Khawar Azhar, chief of marketing strategy and content; Rashid Latif, in-house analyst and brand ambassador; Muhammad Tahir Mushtaq, chief human resource officer; Quatrina Hosain, chief of news & current affairs; Nasir Naqvi, chief technology officer; Khurram Anwar, executive producer, current affairs; Asim Baig, head of strategy and corporate communications; and retired Col Muhammad Nadeem Niazi, GM security, have been terminated.

Order says the organisation is short of finances

The order claimed that the PTV was short of finances as there were around 3,560 regular employees in the organisation.

The order further stated: “It has been decided in principle that the number of contract employees on high salaries has to be drastically reduced. This has the approval of the federal minister for information and broadcasting as well as the information secretary.”

PTV Board of Directors chairman Naeem Bokhari not only signed the order but also wrote a note on it, saying: “This final approval has been given with the permission/approval of the Board of Directors, PTVC.”

Giving his reaction to the order, a former legal adviser of the PTV, Waqas Malik, told Dawn that the decision would be challenged in the courts of law, adding that the order was contrary to the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules, 2013.

“These rules are applicable to the PTV because it is a registered company with the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan,” Mr Malik said.

He added that as per rules the main responsibility of the board of directors was policy-making and the administrative issues were the domain of the managing director.

He said that PTV managing director Amer Manzoor had not signed the termination order.

Naeem Bokhari was made chairman of the PTV Board of Directors last month for a period of three years on contract.

A lawyer by profession, he has also hosted television shows and headed the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s legal team.

The PTV has been facing turmoil for almost two years, mainly relating to the post of chairman of the board of directors.

In September this year, the Islamabad High Court had in a judgement annulled the appointment of PTV Board of Directors chairman Arshad Khan.

However, the IHC had declared legal the appointments of PTV managing director Amer Manzoor, chief of news and current affairs Quatrina Hosain and head of marketing and content Khawar Azhar.

Published in Dawn, December 8th, 2020

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