By Khawar Ghumman
ISLAMABAD, Nov 4: In an exceptional show of generosity, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has exempted Dr Shahid Masood, the outgoing Pakistan Television managing director, from over Rs5 million which he was supposed to pay to the government as per the contractual obligation as he resigned from the job.
Dr Masood joined PTV on a two-year contract with the government against a hefty salary of Rs850,000 per month. Under the contract, if the government was to fire him on whatever grounds, it had to pay him salary for six months in advance, and in case of his resignation he was to provide the same amount to the government.
Though Dr Masood has been appointed as special assistant to the prime minister with the status of a state minister, he has been given the new job only after the acceptance of his resignation from the position of PTV managing director.
Some sources in the government said he was bound to pay the amount to the government, however, by using his discretionary powers, the prime minister had granted him a waiver in this regard.
Meanwhile, during a special meeting chaired by Information Minister Sherry Rehman at the PTV Headquarters, Deputy Managing Director Shahid Nadeem was reinstated to his position.
Mr Nadeem was at the centre of a controversy between Dr Masood and Ms Rehman, which lasted until the former resigned from his position.
To further cool down the situation, both Mr Nadeem and the PTV administration have also decided to take their petitions back which they had filed against each other in the court.
With the resignation of Dr Masood, the whole issue has been resolved, therefore, there was no need for any further legal proceedings, a source told Dawn.
During the meeting, Ms Rehman also directed Mr Nadeem, who would also work as acting PTV MD, to arrange a comprehensive briefing for her on the financial and administrative affairs of the state-run television channel.
Dr Masood, during a recently held meeting of the sub-committee of Senate Standing Committee on Information had raised the issue of financial irregularities of the past at the PTV headquarters which he wanted to interrogate.