MABAD- An ugly situation came up on Saturday when journalists were expelled from the conference room of the Pakistan Public Works Department (PWD) during the departments briefing to the Minister for Housing and Works Rehmat Ullah Kakar.
Soon after the briefing started and the Minister was inquired about the expenditures of the PWD during the current fiscal year, DG PWD Ali Akbar Sheikh whispered in the ears of the Minister. Rehmat Ullah Kakar directed his public relations staff to get the journalists out of the conference room, saying they would be briefed afterwards.
The journalists, who had waited for more than two hours for the briefing, chose to walk out in protest but the Ministers staff repeatedly requested them not to do so.
The journalists waited for the briefing but they were once again disappointed when the Minister announced he had little time to brief the media persons in detail, as, he said, he had to go to Karachi to participate in a wedding ceremony. The Minister then held a brief media talk and went his way.
His staff had assured the journalists that they would be provided with the copies of the briefing but they too couldnt keep their word and the journalists had to return without news. Earlier, media persons had to wait long for the briefing and protested repeatedly but Kakars staff pacified them by getting them phoned by officials of the Press Information Department (PID), who had good contacts with the journalists.
Kakars media staff had invited the media persons for the briefing to be held at 12 am, however, it took place at about 1:30 pm. Some other journalists showed invitations on which the timing of the briefing was indicated to be 11 am.
During his brief media talk, the minister informed that government had imposed 30% cut over PWDs developmental budget due to the financial crunch in the country. He also informed that short-term projects for construction of 5,000 residential apartments were being executed across the country while MoU were being signed with national and international firms for execution of long-term projects for the construction of one million houses.