ISLAMABAD: The Isla­mabad High Court (IHC) has asked the Ministry of Information to decide on the appointment of a senior officer of the information group as press minister (BS-20) at Pakistan’s diplomatic mission in London.

IHC Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb, while hearing the petition of BS-20 officer of the information group Kashif Zaman, gave the information ministry a one-month deadline.

Mr Zaman, currently working as director general for media at the National Accountability Bureau’s headquarters in Islamabad, was one of the two candidates for the post.

Although he cleared a written test, he was later informed that the panel did not consider him fit for the posting.

Mr Zaman’s counsel, Shuaib Shaheen, contended before the court that the criteria for selecting officers for appointment against posts at the country’s diplomatic missions abroad was set out by the Establishment Division.

The counsel argued that since Mr Zaman had passed both the written test and interview and was the only eligible candidate for the post, the court should issue directions for his posting as press minister.

The ministry’s stance was that the chairman of the special selection board observed after interviewing the petitioner that he was not fully prepared and did not live up to the expectations.

The summary submitted by the ministry to the former PM shows that since Mr Zaman was the only candidate for the post, it had decided to seek fresh applications to ensure fair competition.

The court, however, expressed displeasure that no process had been initiated to seek fresh applications for posting against the vacant post.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2023

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