News Analysis |
In the latest development, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared the appointment of former Managing Director (MD) and chairman of Pakistan Television (PTV) Ataul Haq Qasmi’s appointment as illegal. The top court has further stated that the perks and privileges given to Mr. Qasmi were illegal.
According to media reports, a three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard a case pertaining to Mr. Qasmi’s appointment as MD PTV as well as the amount of salary and perks he received as chairman of the state-run TV. The court had reportedly reserved its judgment on the case in July this year.
The present government is determined to end corruption and nepotism from Pakistan and ensure the rule of law and meritocracy.
The top court announced its verdict yesterday and clearly mentioned that “Qasmi’s appointment was against rules and regulations.” According to sources, Justice Umar Atta Bandial read out a 48-page judgement authored by the CJP.
Interestingly, the court has also mentioned the names of those involved in this illegal appointment. The verdict reads as “then information and finance ministers, Pervaiz Rashid and Ishaq Dar, as well as former principal secretary to the prime minister are responsible for the illegal appointment.”
Recently, Mr. Dar was required to appear before the SC for allegedly appointing Mr. Qasmi as MD PTV on a hefty package. The court had directed Ishaq Dar, the then Federal Secretary Information Muhammad Azam and the then Secretary Finance Waqar Masood to appear before the court and explain the process of appointment of former chairman PTV. But former finance minister remained unable to return back to Pakistan and appear before the court.
Mr. Qasmi received millions of rupees as a chairman of the state-run TV channel. The top judge inquired during the hearing that who instructed to pay Attaul Haq Qasmi Rs15, 00,000 as monthly income. “Was he eligible for this?” the CJP went on saying that “Pakistan is a poor country and this money belongs to taxpayers. How can it be distributed like this?” the chief justice asked.
The top court has further stated that the perks and privileges given to Mr. Qasmi were illegal.
Moreover, the verdict of the apex court says that over Rs190 million were spent in the form of salaries and perks granted to Mr. Qasmi. Ordering that the amount spent on the former MD and chairman of PTV be returned by those involved in the illegal appointment, the bench said, “Qasmi will pay 50% of the amount, while the former ministers will pay 20% each and the former principal secretary to the premier will have to submit 10% of the Rs190.78 million.”
The court has also made some serious comments about the attitude of the former MD PTV. “Qasmi’s attitude was unacceptable and he should not be appointed on any such post in the future,” the judgment said. This case has exposed the practices of nepotism during the rule of Sharifs, point out political commentators in Pakistan.
“This is a case which has exposed the face of PML-N. There were many Qasmis but we cannot bring before the courts since their appointments are now legally unquestionable,” said a Professor of Politics. As a matter of fact, in Pakistan nepotism has badly damaged many institutions including the PIA and senior posts in bureaucracy.
Prime Minister Khan repeatedly maintained during his recent visit to China that the reason behind Pakistan’s slow progress pace was corruption. Incompetent people are posted on high positions and are given undue, large amount of money to oblige them. The present government is determined to end corruption and nepotism from Pakistan and ensure the rule of law and meritocracy. However, experts argue that this is a tough process and Mr. Khan needs honest political leadership and competent senior bureaucrats to accomplish it.