Connect with us

Pakistan

Govt to investigate Maryam Nawaz's disclosure about controlling ads for channels : Fawad

Alleges the PML-N stalwart distributed Rs10 billion among blue-eyed channels.

Published

on

Govt to investigate Maryam Nawaz's disclosure about controlling ads for channels : Fawad
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Islamabad: Federal Information and Braodcasting Minister Chauhdry Fawad Hussian announced to form an inquiry committee to investigate the revealation of PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz about controlling government advtertisements for media houses in their tenure.

Addressing a press conference soon after Maryam Nawaz's statement, the minister said Maryam had admitted to control advertisements and that her media cell of Maryam kept controlling Punjab government ads.

"The government will investigate which media houses were funded in the previous regime," Fawad said, adding up to Rs18 billion were distributed amongs journalists in the PML-N tenure.

He further said anti-PML-N journalists were awarded punishemnts.

He said advertisements for the Federal and Provincial governments were managed by the ‘notorious media cell’ set up by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to reward specific journalists over stories in their favour.

Fawad said the story about media cell in 2015 had pointed out that a special media cell had been working under the direct supervision of Maryam Nawaz at the Prime Minister House.

Initially, 15 members were made part of the cell and later, Rs 20 million were allocated for additional recruitment and was mandated to run targeted media campaigns, he added.

He said Maryam Nawaz in Wednesday’s news conference affirmed that she was supervising the cell during PML-N tenure. A video clip of Maryam’s news conference was also screened.

Fawad said admission of Maryam of curtailing or blocking advertisements for specific television channels was certainly an immoral and illegal act.

“The handling of public fund by a private person is a crime under the jurisdiction of the FIA (Federal Investigation Agency), but also liable of disqualification,” he said while pointing out that Maryam had already been disqualified under Article 62 and 63 of the Constitution.

The minister said Maryam’s admission had proved that as to how the PML-N carried out ‘systematic manipulation’ of the media during its last tenure.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain said it was an eye-opening revelation for the journalist community and media organizations.


With this, it could be assumed that as to how much difficulty was being faced by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf when it had not alternate such resources.


“We do not have the resources to dole out the huge amount of Rs 15 to 18 billion to someone. We have decided to conduct a serious inquiry to probe the matter,” he said.


He said thorough investigations would be conducted how a private person (Maryam) was running the show, following the confession of Maryam Nawaz that she was awarding and punishing the journalists and media houses despite having no official position. It might be noted that the misappropriation of public money was a separate criminal case, he added.


The details of the doled out amount collected by Information ministry has already been shared. While provinces were being asked to share the amount spent by that media cell among media houses and journalists from provincial exchequer. The details taken would be shared accordingly.


Responding to a question, the minister said Maryam was calling the shot as the then Minister for Information and Broadcasting Pervaiz Rashid was a puppet.


To a query, Fawad said PML-N was trying to sabotage corruption cases. The appeal against corruption cases were in court and they should simply present the evidence before the divisional bench to enable it to analyse the evidence.


To another question, he said a common man was of the opinion that looted money should be recovered from all those thieves. Simple was that Nawaz Sharif should return the looted money, if he did not want to serve jail term, he added.


To a query, he said Maryam’s confessions were also a test case for journalist organization what was their opinion on the entire episode.


Responding to a question Hammad Azhar said Maryam Safdar had confessed that, she ran the media cell, and blocked the ads of some media channels during PML-N’s regime.

She did not mention the names of media houses which were rewarded as it was obvious that – if one was indulged in punishing someone, he or she might have rewarded someone for their services. PML-N would have to answer squandering public money, he added.

He said such dirty tactics were tantamount to resorting to fascism. On the other hand PML-N was used to accuse Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) as a fascist party on posting a tweet, or challenging a media houses’ accusations.

“Maryam should clarify why some media houses still remembered her anxiously.

The answers of all questions would be dug out in the inquiry,” he said adding the findings of inquiry would be duly shared.

The freedom of media could not be compromised, Hammad said adding that PML-N leadership was confessing their crimes right from the ownership of Avenfield apartments to media cell and hopefully remaining confessions would come to fore also. PTI government would share the different tactics were being used by PML-N to control media, he added.

He said PML-N had doled out plots to many journalists, also targeted their opponents and deprived many of journalists from their jobs, however such tactics would no more be tolerated.

Responding to a question Hammad said it could be assumed that the emergence of different fake videos and audio tapes were the handy work of Maryam’s media cell.

“Had such confessions of influencing media were made by the daughter of a prime minister in a western country – their whole family would have landed in jail,” he added.

Federal Minister for Energy Hammad Azhar, speaking on the occasion, said the hand-picked shows were arranged on news channels by distributing money in previous regime. 

He was of the view that the freedom of media could not be hijacked by controlling ads.

Earlier Maryam had admitted the voice clip of her issuing instructions to refuse advertisements to certain TV channels was genuine. "I am not saying it has been compiled from different separate occasions. It is my voice."

When asked about the clip again, Maryam said it was an "old" clip from the time she was managing the PML-N's media cell. But she refused to comment anymore on it, saying she could do an entire press conference on it if she wanted to but that wasn't the subject of her presser today.

 

 

   

Faisal Ali Ghumman

Mr. Ghumman is a seasoned journalist who has 19 years of diversified experience in print, electronic and digital media. He has worked with 92 News HD, Daily Pakistan Today, Daily The Business, Daily Dawn, Daily Times and Pakistan Observer as News Reporter, Feature Writer, Editor, Web Content Editor and Article Writer. Mr Ghumman has graduated from the Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan and is currently enrolled in M.Phil in Mass Communication at the University of Punjab.

Sports

13 Belenenses players contract Omicron variant; 44 quarantine 

As many as 44 players and staff at Belenenses are now quarantining while Benfica has not taken the same steps due to what it calls low-risk for getting the virus from their opponents.

Published by Mehak Javed

Published

on

13 Belenenses players contract Omicron variant; 44 quarantine 

Thirteen players at Portuguese club Belenenses have tested positive for the newly discovered COVID variant ‘Omicron’, upon return from national team duty in South Africa.

As many as 44 players and staff at Belenenses are now quarantining while Benfica has not taken the same steps due to what it calls low-risk for getting the virus from their opponents.

It has now been confirmed all 13 players have the Omicron variant, first detected in South Africa last week.

The players, reportedly, wanted to cancel the game, but officials pressed forward with the contest. 

Meanwhile, Portugal’s health authorities are also sequencing the viruses from two passengers who tested positive for COVID after flying in from Maputo, Mozambique. 

Portugal’s health institute INSA, said in a statement that “there is still no scientific data to support [the Omicron variant’s] greater transmissibility or its ability to reduce the effectiveness of current vaccines.”

The World Health Organization (WHO), has declared the new strain a ‘variant of concern’.

Continue Reading

Regional

Omicron threat: Sindh govt braces for new Covid curbs, allows schools to remain open

The provincial home department, in line with the NCOC's recommendations, has announced new curbs, which will be applicable from December 1-15.

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

Published

on

Omicron threat: Sindh govt braces for new Covid curbs, allows schools to remain open

The Sindh government on Tuesday announced that educational activities would continue across the province, but at the same time, announced new curbs as it braces for omicron, the latest coronavirus variant.

Pakistan had last week announced a ban on entry from six southern African countries as well as Hong Kong "due to threat" from the new COVID-19 variant.

In a notification, the Sindh Home Department said the National Command and Operations Centre had placed Karachi, Sukkur, and Sanghar in "category B" (cities with good vaccination progress) while other cities of the province fell under "category C" (cities with low vaccination progress).

The home department, in line with the NCOC's recommendations, has therefore announced new curbs, which will be applicable from December 1-15. Indoor and outdoor gatherings are only allowed for vaccinated individuals with the following cap:

Karachi, Sukkur, and Sanghar — indoor 500 people and outdoor 1,000 people. Other cities, divisions — indoor 300 people and outdoor 1,000 people.

Indoor dining is only allowed for fully vaccinated individuals till 11:59pm. In Karachi, Sukkur, and Sanghar, it will be allowed at 70% occupancy, while in other cities and divisions, the maximum cap is 50%.

Outdoor dining is also allowed for fully vaccinated individuals throughout the province till 11:59pm. Takeaway and drive-through services can function 24/7, given that they follow

Indoor and outdoor ceremonies are allowed only for fully vaccinated individuals. Karachi, Sukkur, and Sanghar — indoor 500 individuals and outdoor 1,000 individuals.

Other cities, divisions — indoor 300 individuals and outdoor 1,000 individuals.

Markets and business activities can continue till 10pm, while essential services — pharmacies, medical facilities, vaccination centres, petrol pumps, CNG stations, and others — can function 24/7.

Amusement parks, water sports, and swimming pools in individuals Karachi, Sukkur, and Sanghar can function at 70% occupancy, while in the remaining cities and divisions the cap is 50%.

Public parks, however, will remain open under strict COVID-19 protocols. Contact sports are allowed for fully vaccinated individuals.

Shrines will remain open, however, only fully vaccinated individuals will be allowed to visit the places. Routine office timings will be followed and 100% attendance is permitted. The employees should be fully vaccinated.

Only fully vaccinated individuals can exercise at indoor gyms. Public transport can operate with 80% occupancy and only fully vaccinated individuals can benefit from the service. Wearing masks is mandatory.

Cinemas can entertain fully vaccinated individuals and can operate without time restrictions. Railways will operate with 80% occupancy and only fully vaccinated individuals can benefit from the service. Wearing masks is mandatory.

District administrations may impose broader lockdowns in areas under their jurisdiction. They can also smart and micro smart lockdowns in specified areas. Wearing masks shall be compulsory in public spaces.

All education institutes will follow 100% attendance with a focused campaign to vaccinate students above 12 years of age.

Continue Reading

Pakistan

18.8 million mobile units manufactured in Pakistan in 10 months: Dawood

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood on Tuesday said domestic manufacturing mobile plants in Pakistan produced 18.87 million mobile units during the period of January to October 2021.

Published by Faisal Ali Ghumman

Published

on

18.8 million mobile units manufactured in Pakistan in 10 months: Dawood

During the period of January to October 2021, domestic manufacturing mobile plants in Pakistan produced 18.87 million mobile units, including 7.93 million 4G mobile phones compared to 9.45 million imported mobile phones.

The Ministry of Commerce’s ‘Make in Pakistan’ philosophy is giving the results and “we look forward for sustainable growth for the long run.”

Continue Reading

Trending