Islamabad: PTV caught between PM Secretariat, Presidency

By Usman Manzoor
A quiet war of letters has started between the Presidency and the PM Secretariat on where the grand August 14 show should be held to celebrate the country’s Independence Day and the PTV has been caught in the crossfire.

The annual “Azadi Show” of the state-run TV was first to be organised at the PM Secretariat but then was quietly shifted to the Presidency, where the show had

been organised for the past many years.

Top level sources in the PTV told The News that the state-run TV was under immense pressure from both the sides as both wanted the grand show to be organised on their premises.

The Pakistan Television had received a letter from the Prime Minister Secretariat in the last week of July to hold the annual Azadi Show on August 14 at the Prime Minister Secretariat and the PTV had started its preparations but the intervention of the Presidency halted all the activities. Another letter was received at the PTV headquarters, which stated that the grand show should be organised as per the past traditions in the Presidency. The PTV administration had conducted some meetings to resolve the issue.

Dr Shahid Masood, Chairman and MD PTV, when contacted said that the Prime Minister Secretariat and the Presidency were coordinating with each other and the matter would be resolved soon.

He said that there were plenty of days left for the show and he was hopeful that the confusion would be soon over.

Dr Shahid Masood said that the PTV was fully prepared to organise the show but did not want to commit where it would be organised.

Spokesman for the President of Pakistan General (retd) Rashid Qureshi said that he was not aware of any such correspondence over the issue.

He said that all such correspondence was confidential and he was not the right person to answer the question.

However, the presidential spokesman said that the grand show would be organised in the Presidency as per the tradition.

He said the PTV was directly under the information ministry and he would not comment on anything relating to the PTV and the ministry.
Source: The News, 3/8/2008

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