Sherry orders fresh inquiry into PM address mishap
By Zulfiqar Ghuman
ISLAMABAD: Information and Broadcasting Minister Sherry Rehman has ordered an inquiry into the state media’s mismanagement of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani’s first live address to the nation and its subsequent decision to suspend Deputy Managing Director (DMD) Shahid Nadeem.
Sources privy to the development have told Daily Times that the minister was displeased by PTV Chairman Shahid Masood’s decision to suspend Nadeem without consulting her. They said that she believed this was a hurried decision to “hush up the matter” and “save the real culprits”.
When contacted, Sherry confirmed that she had ordered a fresh inquiry into the incidents but refused to disclose further details. The PTV chairman could not be reached for his point of view.
The sources said that Masood, citing bad health, had refused to meet the information minister when she had reached the PTV Centre on July 19 to check the arrangements for the PM’s speech. They added that after Sherry had left, Masood had met PTV Union members and directed them to chant slogans in his favour upon the arrival of the premier; “To win the support of the PTV Union, the chairman recently approved Rs 700 million package against the advice of the finance director,” they said.
The sources also said that as far as the issue of the PM’s live telecast was concerned, the official responsible — the news and current affairs director — had been absent throughout the preparation process. They said that Masood had constituted an inquiry committee on July 20 after the mishap. .
The committee completed its investigation on July 21 and found Shahid Nadeem and a few others responsible for the mishandling. “The report was presented to the chairman at 2pm, who immediately suspended Nadeem without consulting with Sherry,” the sources said.