ISLAMABAD: A close aide of Pakistan’s Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi has been given a three month extension in service for the fifth time, it was learnt on Wednesday.
Sources told Pakistan Today that the prime minister has extended Masood Anwar’s contract as a press minister for the fifth time in the last week.
Masood Anwar will remain on the seat till September 30, 2018, after the previous extension expired on June 30 this year.
Officials said that Maleeha has managed to extend Anwar’s contract citing that the “Pakistani mission in New York cannot afford to leave the post vacant for any length of time. Therefore, it is requested that the incumbent press minister, Masood Anwer, whose contract is to expire on June 30, 2018, be extended until September 2018.”
Masood Anwar, a retired bureaucrat of the information group, is working as the press minister since June 2016.
Officials further said that six positions (London, Kabul, Singapore, Berlin, New Delhi and Moscow) are vacant for last several months.
Several information group officers, despite the end of their tenure, are still serving in different countries and regular officials have not been posted on those positions.
The PM gives the approval of new postings on the recommendation of information secretary. No new appointments have been made so far on important press councillors’ or attaché positions since January 2016, officials said.
Talking to Pakistan Today, Information Secretary Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera stated that new appointments are not being made as the case is pending before the Supreme Court.