ISLAMABAD, Oct 31: Efforts to have a truce between the federal information minister and the managing director of PTV have failed and people at the helm of affairs are left with no choice but to ask the latter to leave the office, reliable sources told Dawn.
The information minister is said to have already convinced both the president and the prime minister and soon the decision would be taken on the replacement of Dr Shahid Masood, who is on a two-year’s contract with the ministry of information and broadcasting, they said.
He is drawing a hefty salary of around Rs1 million a month, and if the government cancels his contract it has to pay him six months salaries in advance.
The cold war between Ms Rehman and Dr Masood took a new turn on Thursday when the latter refused to take back deputy managing director PTV Shahid Nadeem and cancelled his reinstatement orders. This was done although he had been appointed by none other than Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani. Reportedly, Ms Rehman was present in her PTV headquarters office when the whole episode unfolded.
Dr Masood not only suspended his director administration and personnel who complied with the prime minister’s orders and allowed Mr Nadeem to rejoin the organization as DMD but also issued him a show-cause notice.
Sources close to the development told this reporter that serious efforts were made soon after Thursday’s incident to bring both of them to the negotiating table but the minister refused to even speak to the PTV Chief and insisted on his replacement.
Ms Rehman and Dr Masood could not develop a working relationship since he was appointed as MD PTV without her consultation. Their confrontation became public on the eve of the prime minister’s first and the only address to the nation which was marred by sheer mismanagement.
Dr Shahid held Mr Nadeem responsible for the whole mess and dismissed him from the service; whereas Ms Rehman refused to accept his findings. Meanwhile, Mr Nadeem moved the Islamabad High Court and got himself reinstated. However, Dr Masood did not allow him to rejoin his office.In the past as well, a similar situation had occurred and many believed that Dr Shahid will be shown the door. However, because of closeness to the presidency he survived. Sources close to the PTV chief still insist that it is not possible to sack him. However, some knowledgeable sources in the government are insisting that it may become difficult for him to remain the MD PTV.
Despite repeated attempts, the MD PTV and the information minister could not be contacted for comments.