According to the Cabinet Division’s notification, Fahd Husain’s post will be equal to that of a federal minister.
Senior journalist and columnist Fahd Husain has been appointed as special assistant to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, a notification issued on Friday said.
The Cabinet Division issued the notification following Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s approval.
“The Prime Minister, in terms of rule 4(6) of Rules of Business, 1973, has been pleased to appoint Syed Fahd Hussain as Special Assistant to the Prime Minister with the status of Federal Minister, with immediate effect,” read a notification issued by cabinet division.
Husain has previously worked with several local publications, including The News, Express Tribune, and Daily Dawn.
The appointment has come under debate on the internet. Netizens say Fahd Husain was an intellectual and analyst and should’ve remained that. Prominent journalists have said Husain’s decision to become a minister in Shehbaz Sharif Govt will further put a dent in the already falling credibility of journalists.
Taking to Twitter, Senior anchor Moeed Pirzada said, ‘Fahd Hussain is highly educated, a great writer, a valuable critic of Imran Khan, but he has taken an unwise decision; he is more respected than this govt; he should reconsider his position!’
Rauf & I have seldom agreed at any point. But on this point I tend to agree with him. Fahd Hussain is highly educated, a great writer, a valuable critic of Imran Khan, but he has taken an unwise decision; he is more respected than this govt; he should reconsider his position! https://t.co/s9NXWxSts2
— Moeed Pirzada (@MoeedNj) May 13, 2022
Meanwhile, others said the anti-PTI narrative paid off for Fahd Husain. In a Tweet, PTI said, ‘Congratulations to Senior Anchor Fahd Hussain for joining Shahbaz Sharif’s Team as SAPM. Hard work pays off!’
— PTI (@PTIofficial) May 13, 2022
PTI leader Shahbaz Gill slammed Fahd, saying he should join PMLN openly instead of faking neutrality. He said Husain should not pretend to be a journalist in the future.
مسلۂ انکے مشیر بننے پر نہیں۔کھل کر جوئن کرتے ناں ن کو نیوٹرل بھائی۔ یہ کیا کہ سارا وقت نیوٹرل کھیلنا اور اندر سے گند کرنا۔اب چند ماہ کہ بعد یہ بضد ہوں گے ان کو صحافی بھی مانا جائے۔امید ہے مستقبل میں آپ صحافی بننے کی ایکٹنگ نہیں کریں گے۔ pic.twitter.com/foZOo4VfbV
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) May 13, 2022
However, it has become visibly apparent in the past few weeks that Pakistani media isn’t neutral. In an interview with Global Village Space, Fahd Husain himself admitted that our media is polarised, and we should absolutely worry about it.
Husain said Pakistani media has decided to take partisan sides not based on the like or dislike of certain political parties or their agenda. He said it has negatively impacted the journalism field, and truth has started to become a casualty.
He said the traditional media is losing credibility and, thus, the audience. He cautioned that digital polarisation needs to be stopped; otherwise, we will alienate our young audience.