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EXCLUSIVE: Tarar Transfers DGPR Officials Refusing Payment Of Rs 150 Million In Unjust Digital Ads To Channel 7

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LAHORE: Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz Sharif led Punjab government has transferred all three officials of Directorate General of Public Relations (DGPR) advertisements department who refused to sign and make the payment of Rs 150 million to Channel 7 Pvt. Ltd a blue-eyed company of Senior Punjab Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb as part of Ramazan Negahban Package from March 15 to March 22, 2024, The Scoop (TS) has learnt. 

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Marriyum Aurangzeb Awards Rs 150 Million In Digital Ads To Blue-Eyed Company, Sidelines Non-Compliant Officials

According to the notifications issued on May 16, 2024, the copies of which are available with TS, all the three officials including DGPR’s Director Coordination Muhammad Tariq Ismail, Director Advertisement Abdul Nasir, and Deputy Director Advertisement Finance Syed Aftab Ali Shah are transferred and posted to other positions. 

Transfer and postings against service rules

“These transfers and posting orders of DGPR officials who refused to bow down to unjust demand of senior minister Marriyum Aurangzeb are in violation of service rules of the Information department,” a senior official at the information department in Punjab told TS on the condition of anonymity. 

He maintained that these positions are ex-cadre positions and people who belong to other cadres and have not suitable qualification for these positions cannot be transferred to these positions. 

As per the notification, DGPR’s Director Coordination Ismail (BS-19) is transferred from DGPR’s headquarters in Lahore with immediate effect and posted as Director Public Relations, Divisional Information Office, Bahawalpur and Nasir Hameed, Deputy Director, Public Relations, Bahawalpur is transferred with immediate effect and posted as Deputy Director (Advertisement), DGPR HQ in place of Abdul Nasir. Hameed is also given an additional charge of DGPR’s Director Coordination. 

As per the notification, Deputy Director (Advertisement) Abdul Nasir (BS-18) who was working at DGPR HQ is transferred with immediate effect and posted as Deputy Director Public Relations, District Information Office, R.Y. Khan vice Ishtiaq Amin. 

According to the notification, the copy of which is available with Syed Aftab Ali Shah Deputy Director Advertisement Finance (BS-18) who was working at DGPR HQ is transferred with immediate effect and posted as Deputy Director Public Relations, District Information Officer Khushab and in place of him Haseeb Zaidi (BS-17), Assistant Director (Budget and Accounts) at DGPR HQ is assigned an additional charge of Deputy Director (Advertisement Finance). 

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Punjab Govt Replaces Secretary Information Danyal Gillani With Farah Gogi’s Favored Bureaucrat, Ahmad Aziz Tarrar

Sources privy to this development informed TS that Junior officials are given these portfolios bigger positions so that they could endorse and release the payment to Channel 7. 

Last Dig effort to release payment to Channel 7 Pvt. Ltd

Recently,  Chief Minister Punjab Maryam Nawaz Sharif chaired the 7th meeting of the provincial cabinet in which the Government of Punjab’s advertisement policy for the year 2024 was approved according to which advertisements will be carried out on print, electronic, cable, and digital media according to the federal government’s procedures.

“This policy was approved to ensure smooth payment of Rs 150 million to Channel 7 Pvt. Ltd and to accommodate other favoured companies,” a senior official said. 

It is pertinent to mention that this story was first reported by TS, Senior Minister and central Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader Marriyum Aurangzeb reportedly directed Rs 150 million worth of digital media ads to Channel 7 Pvt. Ltd. as part of the Ramazan Negahban Package from March 15 to March 22, 2024, circumventing standard procedures, The Scoop (TS) has learnt.

Interestingly, on April 26 2024, TS has reported that Ahmad Aziz Tarar has been appointed as Punjab’s Secretary for Information and Culture, and has also been given the additional responsibility of Director General of Public Relations (DGPR) after he assured the Punjab government that he would facilitate a Rs 150 million payment to Channel 7 Pvt. Limited against illegally issued digital advertisements. 

Also Read: EXCLUSIVE: Secretary Information Ahmad Aziz Tarrar Given Charge Following Assurance To Release Rs 150 Million To Blue-Eyed Company

According to insiders familiar with the matter, prior to assuming his new role, Tarrar promised to either dismiss or permanently sack three DGPR advertisement officials who had refused to authorise the payment to Channel 7 Pvt. Limited at the direction of Senior Punjab Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.

A senior official working with Minister Aurangzeb had earlier confirmed that “Tarar had agreed to either permanently remove DGPR’s Director of Coordination Muhammad Tariq Ismail, Director of Advertisement Abdul Nasir, and Deputy Director of Advertisement Finance Syed Aftab Ali Shah, or to relocate them to remote areas in South Punjab,” said one source.

 

Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi
Hassan Naqvi is an award-winning digital, print, and broadcast investigative journalist who is the co-founder of The Scoop. He also hosts his web shows 'The Scoop' and 'The Hassan Naqvi Show'.

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