PEMRA GATE: PTV & Chairman PEMRA : How the dismissal of one and appointment of other is in complete contrast

Muhammad UsmanMultimedia Journalist

25th Jan, 2021. 03:52 pm
Chairman PEMRA
PTV Chairman PEMRA Chairman
Personnel Name Naeem Bukhari Saleem Baig
Tenure Period 3 years 4 years
Prior Experience before appointment Intelligent Lawyer; Renowned and Charismatic Television Personality Senior Officer in an unrelated govt. organization
Chairman Tenure Not a single controversy created. Headed the institute with utmost dedication. Used his influence to promote the agenda of some of his powerful peers including suspending channels who did not follow his narrative
Violation of Criteria More Than 65 years of Age Selection not on grounds of merit; not meeting the work experience and educational requirement
Petition filed in….. Islamabad High Court Lahore High Court
Final Result Dismissal Approved and Executed by Federal Cabinet No Dismissal directed by court or cabinet


Table: The above table signifies the comparison of two heads of a federal institution. The PTV Chairman Naeem Bukhari an  Intelligent Lawyer; Renowned and Charismatic Television Personality was dismissed along with two directors as they did not meet the age criteria while on the other hand, the PEMRA Chairman, Saleem Baig, is still in power even though the latter does not meet either the work experience or the educational criteria for the post.


The year 2021 started with some major changes in the media landscape of Pakistan. One of them being the court order by the Islamabad High Court to remove the PTV Chairman at the time, Mr. Naeem Bukhari along with two other directors. The reason for the dismissal was that the three personnel were above 65 years of age which violated the rules governing the National Television Broadcaster. The decision was forwarded to the federal cabinet which in turn made sure the dismissal was carried to its rightful conclusion.

The way and the detail to which the law has been upheld here is quite commendable and examples like these should be the benchmark for the Federal government’s appointment and dismissal of heads of important federal institutions. However, the same cannot be said of the illegal appointment of Chairman PEMRA, Muhammad Saleem Baig.

Protests have been going on for months outside Press Clubs of all the cities of Pakistan to dismiss Chairman PEMRA who has repeatedly used his influence to shut voices of channels which give the truth to the people rather than a biased picture of his choice. You can read more about the news here:


PEMRA GATE: Chairman PEMRA Saleem Baig’s illegal appointment challenged in the court

Given clear signs that the appointment is dubious, a petition was filed in the Lahore High Court and reply has been sought from parties, PEMRA and the federal government. However, given the fact that appointment of PEMRA Chairman has many evident loopholes, just like that of the PTV Chairman, both the cases should be painted from the same brush. Law should be upheld in this scenario just as it was before. Given the fact that if PTV Chairman can be removed due to violation, why not Chairman PEMRA with such obvious irregularities?


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