Officer who denied foreign posting by parent ministry to represent Pakistan at ECO

ISLAMABAD  -  An officer of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, who was twice de­nied posting as Minister Press at Paki­stan’s Mission in London, is appointed to represent Pakistan at the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) in Tehran. Kashif Zaman, a Grade 20 of­ficer of the Information Ministry, had earlier qualified for the post of Min­ister Press in Pakistan’s High Com­mission in London in 2021. However, the then Information Minister, Fawad Chaudhry decided not to recommend his selection. The officer challenged the decision in Islamabad High Court (IHC) which in Jan 2023 allowed his petition and set aside Ministry’s deci­sion. The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, however instead of im­plementing court’s verdict, asked the officer to reappear in a fresh selection process along with other candidates held in March 2023 and then kept the recommendations of the selection panel on hold for over 4 months. 

It also reportedly offered the officer the post of Minister Press in Beijing instead of London which the later refused to accept. Meanwhile, in a parallel development, the officer in question was selected to the coveted position as Deputy Secretary General at ECO through a highly competitive process jointly conducted by the Min­istry of Foreign Affairs and the Estab­lishment Division, thus becoming the only officer from Information Service to earn the distinction. A post gradu­ate in Political Communication from the University of Sheffield, UK, the offi­cer previously served as Press Attaché at Pakistan’s Mission in Kuwait as well as Director and official Spokesperson for National Highway Authority and National Accountability Bureau. In­terestingly, soon after the joining of the officer at the ECO, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has ap­pointed a junior officer, who was not even part of selection process in 2021, as Minister Press in London.

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