ISLAMABAD: The list of the 282 journalists who received payments and gifts from the secret fund of the information ministry was made public following a Supreme Court order.
The complete list can be viewed as a PDF here, or scroll down to the bottom of this report.
The list of disbursements totals just over Rs177 million.
Many names of senior journalists and anchors are included in the list, some of whom have been added for being provided flights or accommodation as part of official delegations with government officials such as the former prime minister. A few journalists who did not choose to travel on the offered trips have also been included in the list, seemingly erroneously.
According to the rules and regulations, the purpose of the secret fund is only to obtain or uncover sensitive information necessary to protect ‘national interest/national security’.
It cannot be used for any other purpose, such as emergencies or incidental expenses. All withdrawals are supposed to come under specific heads and justifications.
Another list of 155 journalists who took gifts and payments from the information ministry will also be made public later.
A spokesman of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting clarified that secret funds have no link with Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) and the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), tweeted Radio Pakistan.
SC Judge Jawwad S Khawja remarked during the April 11 hearing of the information ministry secret funds case that Rs300 million was apparently given away to a private television channel.
Journalists and members of the civil society demanded the Supreme Court make public the names of the private TV channel that received Rs300 million from the information ministry and of all those journalists who allegedly received huge payments from the ministry.
Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated the amount disbursed in billions.
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