Parliamentary panel terms appointment of PTA chairman illegal


A parliamentary panel on Thursday termed the appointment of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Farooq Awan as illegal and directed the officials of the Cabinet Secretariat to give complete details of his appointment and the criterion leading to his appointment.
During the meeting of subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Information Technology and Telecommunication that was chaired by Senator Malik Rafique Rajwana, it was discussed the appointment of Awan and removal of Former Universal Service Funds (USF) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Riaz Ashar Siddiqui.
The committee showed concerns over the appointment of Awan and said that appointment of the chairman was made on Saturday which was a weekly holiday, and said that it clearly showed whether the process was transparent or not.
Meanwhile, Humayun Mandokhel said that the PTA chairman was also involved in billions of rupees scam while still the board appointed him as chairman of a regulatory body.
The committee observed that the PTA chairman could be any senior person from the department carrying sufficient technical background, but the board appointed the junior Awan while ignoring the senior members. Furthermore, the committee showed dissatisfaction over the insufficient records regarding appointment of the PTA chairman and directed officials of the Cabinet secretariat to ensure their presence in the meeting along with complete record.
Moreover, the legislative body also raised the issue of removal of former USF CEO Siddiqui and said that the former CEO was removed without any solid allegations.
Senators said that details provided by the officials regarding Board of Directors meeting about removal of Riaz Siddiqui showed that during the meeting no allegations against former USF CEO Siddiqui were discussed
They said that it was crystal clear that board members had already decided to remove him and to bring the new CEO in.
The sub-committee said that probation period for CEOs was not listed in the documents and sufficient material was not provided to support the stance that removal of Siddiqui was on legal grounds.
Furthermore, Senator Faisal Raza Abidi said that the entire incident showed that Siddiqui had refused to obey the orders of any influential personality and was removed from his post for the same reason.
The committee directed GM HR of USF to give copy of the letter which was circulated among board members for convening a meeting to discuss performance of the former CEO.
The Senate body also recommended ICT R&D General Manager Fawad Younis to give a detailed report regarding the establishment of IT centres in the country.