Renowned journalist and anchorman Absar Alam has been appointed as chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).
President Mamnoon Hussain approved his appointment on the recommendation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. A formal notification of the appointment will be issued on the summary of the Ministry of Information.
Alam has been associated with various newspapers and television channels. He worked for an English-language daily for a decade in different capacities – as correspondent as well as resident editor. He was also a 2004-2005 Nieman Fellow at the Harvard University in the United States.
He is counted among top investigative reporters. He has reported on diverse topics: terrorism, economics, politics, foreign policy, human rights and violence.
He covered the devastating 2005 earthquake in Kashmir for The New York Times. He has also been reporting on the US-led War on Terrorism after the 9/11 attacks for The Boston Globe.
Alam has a diverse experience of journalism. He has also been the Pakistan correspondent for Egyptian news website Al-Ahram and Japanese newspaper Tokyo Shimbun since September 2001.
Since 2009, he has also been heading a private welfare organisation, the Foundation Open Society Institute Pakistan, which works for primary education, accountability, legal empowerment of the poor and protection of journalists.
He will assume office on Monday. According to Express News, the committee constituted for the selection of the position interviewed 38 candidates and selected Alam for the post.
The other candidates for the position included Islamabad police chief Tahir Alam, Iftikhar Ahmed Mir and Zafar Abbas.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 23rd, 2015.