ISLAMABAD: The six-member search committee, tasked to fulfil the vacant slot of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) chairman, will conduct interviews from Monday under the chairmanship of Sartaj Aziz, it was learnt.
Sources told Pakistan Today that around 171 applications were received for the post of PEMRA chairman, however, the ministry only shortlisted 61 candidates including incumbent Press Information Officer (PIO) Muhammad Saleem Baig, Senate Secretary Amjad Pervez, former Radio Pakistan director general Sheraz Latif and PEMRA General Manager Sardar Irfan.
The Supreme Court had instructed the government to establish a search committee that will recommend names for the slot of PEMRA chairman.
The government had recommended that State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb will head the committee but on the court’s instructions, her name was excluded.
The committee currently comprises Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Sartaj Aziz, All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) President Hameed Haroon, Pakistan Today Editor Arif Nizami, Pakistan Broadcasters Association Chairman Mian Amir Mehmood, Ministry of Information Secretary Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera and Establishment Division joint secretary.
Earlier, Ministry for Information and Broadcasting had short-listed 15 names for PEMRA chairman’s slot but due to an objection of the court, it re-advertised the post.
Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, had stated that the people who have been selected for the slot of PEMRA chairman do not seem to be eligible. “None of the people, who have been short-listed, qualify for the post, therefore, you would have to re-advertise it as they will deliver no good.”
Principal Secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Hassan Fawad had said that if the court is not satisfied with the names, then the prime minister should be requested to reconstitute the search committee.
The information secretary said that the Lahore High Court (LHC) in the Absar Alam’s removal case gave guidelines to the government for appointment of PEMRA chairman. He added that the qualification for the candidate for the slot has been increased from BA to MA.
The slot of PEMRA chairman is vacant since December 2017 after the LHC ordered to remove former chairman Absar Alam from the post.