Undermining the Ministry of Information? Maryam Nawaz led Strategic Media cell grows further


A strategic cell led by Maryam Nawaz may not have gained much attention since its conception about a year ago, but it is all set to spread its wings and grow outside the Prime Minister’s office.

Initially composed of 15 members, the Strategic Media Communication Cell (SMCC)  has since evolved into a powerful unit under Ms. Nawaz’s watchful eye, PML-N sources told a local newspaper.

Its initial budget allocation was Rs20 million for the current financial year, but the information ministry had  sought the PM’s approval to increase the number of SMCC employees to 38. With this increase in staff, the cell requires another Rs20 million to meet operating costs.

“Since the cell’s inception, it has been the lead government vehicle that intervenes in [the] social and conventional media to project government’s point of view in a subtle and effective manner. With the expansion of its mandated function, SMCC’s present human resources have now become insufficient to carry on the workload in efficient and productive manner, therefore, needed to expand substantially in the best national interest,” said an official circulation.

The government runs media campaigns aimed at polio eradication, energy conservation, school enrolment, environmental issues, viral diseases, anti-terrorism and matters relating to IDPs which the SMCC makes “…more efficient in terms of their cost effectiveness,” the working paper says.