The telecom industry’s performance has been seriously affected, as not a single policy directive has been issued by the Ministry of Information and Technology (MoIT) during the last one year.
Sources in the telecom industry told The News that the people inducted by former secretary MoIT Farooq Awan, who later became chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), had taken some controversial steps which jeopardised the entire industry.
According to the them, the then Secretary MoIT Farooq Awan appointed Yasir Qadir to the MoIT as Director Telecom in September last year during the PPP government’s tenure.
Qadir was handpicked by Awan though the direct intervention of the then minister in charge Raja Pervaiz Ashraf although his previous experience was with the information broadcasting regulator which was not related to the job requirements.
However, after his appointment to the MoIT, he was given the charge of Member Telecom, ignoring the fact that he had previously worked at junior positions. He was given the task on direct instructions of Secretary IT Zafar Qadir on the orders of the then Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf.
During his one-year tenure as Member Telecom not a single policy directive has been issued by the MoIT due to which the telecom industry has come to a standstill.The industry official said he was doing nothing to curb grey traffic rather he was hindering the installation of grey traffic monitoring equipment. Holding the charge of Member Telecom, he allegedly delayed the appointment of PTA members at the behest of some senior PTA officers and an operator.
When contacted, Yasir Qadir admitted that he had been appointed by the then Secretary MoIT Farooq Awan; however, he said there was no interference by the then minister in charge Raja Pervaiz Ashraf. “I was appointed through a fair process and there was no instruction by anyone regarding my appointment,” he said.
Asked as to why no policy directive had been issued since he assumed the charge of Member Telecom, Yasir said when he joined the MoIT there were many cases of litigation and the implementation of International Clearing House (ICH) was stayed by the court. He said after assuming the charge he removed flaws in the policy directives of ICH and other issues faced by the MoIT in the court.