6 PTI media cell members join info ministry at top positions

Imran Khan AP

LAHORE: Six members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s digital media cell have been appointed at top positions in the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, a notification issued on Monday by the Establishment Division confirmed.

According to the Establishment Division’s notification, one officer would be appointed at the Management Pay-II (MP-II) pay scale and five at the MP-III level. The MP-II and MP-III appointments would be equivalent to Grade-21 and Grade-20 civil servant jobs, it added.

Imran Haider Ghazali was hired at the MP-II scale, whereas Shahbaz Khan, Muhammad Muzammil Hassan, Usman bin Zaheer, Naeem Ahmed Yasin, and Syeda Dhanak Hashmi at the MP-III scale.

Sources told Profit that following months of candidate assessments and interviews, Imran Ghazali was appointed the general manager of the Digital Media Wing (DMW).

This March, the federal cabinet approved a supplementary grant of Rs42.791 million ($256,000) for the creation of a DMW, which aims to ostensibly counter fake news that damages the federal government’s repute among social media users. The DMW is meant to help the government formulate its policies on digital media and be helpful in countering the criticism the government is facing due to inflation and high electricity tariff.

Sources told Profit that the DMW will work as a strategic unit of the Government of Pakistan to provide results-oriented media content, digital public relations, and will give authentic government updates on digital media. As the general manager of the DMW, Ghazali has been tasked with leading a data-driven, growth-oriented team to further the interests of the State of Pakistan locally and internationally.

“DMW will also be responsible for curating the digital content for official social media assets of the government,” said a source. “It will also be organising and verifying social media accounts of all federal government ministries and will be enhancing their digital media presence.”

As the founding member of the PTI’s social media team, Ghazali is credited with creating the online presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan and led social media for the political party during the 2013 elections, while working with Starcom Pakistan. The Publicis agency went on to lead the 2018 media strategy that won PTI the elections on a $4.7 million media budget.

According to an Information Ministry statement in response to media reports that the appointments had been approved without any competition, the recruitment was done according to a procedure approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan for its ‘Digital Media Wing’ back in April 2020. The latest job vacancies, the ministry added, were also advertised in the newspapers as per law.

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 recruitment 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.

Source : Pakistan  Today


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