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Govt removes PEMRA chief over 'corruption'

16 December, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: President Mamnoon Hussain has accepted and signed the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to terminate Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority's (PEMRA) chairman, declaring the appointment ab initio, void, illegal and violative of the Supreme Court guidelines and orders in the acting PEMRA chairman's case and in Khawaja Asif vs state case.

The appointment of Chaudhry Rashid has been declared neither open nor transparent. Being secretary information and a serving government employee, Rashid initiated a summary proposing himself as a candidate for the post of PEMRA chairman without carrying out an open and transparent process of appointment.

The Transparency International Pakistan (TIP) has moved the Supreme Court against Rashid's appointment as the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority chairman. In a civil miscellaneous application filed before the court, TIP has argued that the previous government violated directives given by the Supreme Court on January 15, 2013, by appointing Rashid as the PEMRA chairman.

In its January 15 order on the vacant PEMRA chairman's office, the Supreme Court observed: "The position of chairman PEMRA has to be filled by a person who fulfils the exceptional and stringent requirements prescribed in the PEMRA Ordinance and not by a casual appointee."

"Moreover, the appointment has to be made through an open and transparent process to ensure that the appointee meets the objective criteria specified in the PEMRA Ordinance," the order further stated. "Despite the clear-cut orders of the Supreme Court, Rashid Ahmed continues to hold charge as the PEMRA chairman illegally," TIP said in its application.


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