Former member of PTI social media team appointed at top position in info ministry


ISLAMABAD: A former member of the ruling PTI’s social media team, Imran Ghazali, has been appointed at a top position in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, a notification issued Monday by the Establishment Division confirmed.

According to the Establishment Division’s notification, Ghazali has been hired at the Management Pay-II (MP-II) pay scale, which is equal to Grade-21.

In addition, the ministry has also acquired the services of five other individuals, namely Shahbaz Khan, Muhammad Muzammil Hassan, Usman bin Zaheer, Naeem Ahmed Yasin, and Syeda Dhanak Hashmi at the MP-III scale.

‘Not true’

Clarifying the reports that all six have been associated with the ruling party, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s focal person on Digital Media, Dr Arslan Khalid, said these were “not true” and that all the successful candidates were top names from the digital media industry.

“Apart from Imran Ghazali, who worked with PTI SMT [social media team] till 2016, none has any linkage to the PTI,” he said.

PM green-signalled appointments in Dec 2019

Responding to media reports about appointments being approved without any competition, the ministry said PM Imran had given the green signal in December 2019.

It said a total of 76 applications were received for the position of ‘General Manager’, whereas 67 for the ‘Digital Media Consultant’ vacancy. All in all, some 461 people applied to the jobs across seven MP scales, it added.

The recruitments in the digital media wing were made by a special selection board after it conducted interviews, the ministry noted, adding that a summary of the selected individuals was approved by the prime minister on July 20.

Those who have been hired would be paid Rs75,000 a month, it said. The candidates for the remaining 16 posts had been shortlisted, it added further.

Hired without competitive examinations

Sources had earlier informed Geo News that all six have been handling the PTI’s media cell and were hired at top positions with hefty salaries without any competitive examinations.

Each of the six had worked in presenting the PTI’s viewpoints on social media in the 2013 and 2018 general elections, the sources added.

The information ministry, however, maintained its position that the recruitments were made according to a procedure approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan for its ‘Digital Media Wing’ back in April 2020. The latest job vacancies, it added, were also advertised in the newspapers as per law.

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