Senate panel quizzes PTA over controversial contract

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Wednesday gave an in-camera briefing to a Senate panel about giving contract of internet trafficking monitoring to a company with allegedly indirect links to an Israeli secret agency.

After the briefing, the Senate’s Standing Committee for Cabinet Secretariat summoned officials of intelligence agencies to take their views on the matter. Later talking to media, the committee’s chairman, Senator Talha Mehmood, said he was not satisfied with the PTA chairman’s briefing.

He said the matter will once again be discussed on September 26 as the committee wants the facts to be brought to light, adding that payments of millions of rupees have already been made to the concerned company.

“We have to decide a course of action. Details of people responsible for the agreement have been summoned. The company with which the PTA made an agreement is indirectly linked to Israel’s secret agency.  This company is facing serious allegations,” he said.

The committee also discussed provincial quota in hiring at ministries and departments. Senator Sikander Mandro said more than 29,000 posts of Sindh and 17,000 posts of Balochistan are lying vacant. He said officials concerned were unable to tell as to why this backlog exists.

The establishment division officials said the statistics they received from ministries show that 103,589 posts are vacant and some ministries and departments have so far not given any data.  They asked the panel to give them 15 days’ time so that ministries might be sent reminders.

They said the ministries were not questioned over non-implementation of the quota.  The chairman said the government departments are overstaffed. He asked as to what was the need of hiring lift operators and gardeners and called such hiring unnecessary.

Sindh, Balochistan job recruitments at centre of controversy

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