Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Monday sought reply from top government officials over a petition filed by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory (Pemra) Chairman Rashid Ahmad, claiming that government was forcing him to resign.
Hearing the petition filed under Article 199 of the Constitution, the single-judge IHC bench, comprising Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan, issued notices to the secretary of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, director general of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), an executive member of Pemra, and inspector general of police, Islamabad and sought their replies.
The petitioner’s counsel Wasim Sajjad informed the court that his client was being harassed and forced to resign by the government. He requested that government be stopped from interfering in Pemra’s affairs.
It must be noted that the government dismissed the petitioner, Rashid Ahmad, on December 16, 2013 and appointed one of Pemra’s executive members Rao Tehsin in his place. However, the IHC on December 29, 2013 restored him to his position.
He maintained that since his client was restored by the court, he was being victimised through different ways. He requested the court to stop the secretary information and FIA director general from using government machinery to harass the petitioner.
Sajjad also requested that the FIA and police authorities be directed neither to arrest the petitioner without court order nor file any case against him.
Meanwhile President Mamnoon Hussain, on the advice of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has signed on the cause notice against the Pemra chief.
In the 15-point notice, reply has been sought on different alleged irregularities including his appointment to the post. Here it must be noted that the secretary interior is in the US and is due to return to the country by January 31.
(With additional input from Daily Express)
Published in The Express Tribune, January 28th, 2014.