On Monday, in a rather surprising move, Senator Shibli Faraz was appointed as the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting while Chairman CPEC Lt. Gen. (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa replaced Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan as the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting.
Federal Minister Fawad Chaudhry, who had held the portfolio prior to Dr. Awan took to Twitter to break the news.
What does this change hold for the ministry’s future?
It is the third time since the incumbent government took over that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has seen a change in its leadership.
At the same time, it won’t be wrong to say that the PTI government has struggled to maintain a healthy relationship with mainstream media.
The induction of Shibli Faraz and Asim Bajwa in the information ministry appears to be rather strategic move by the government.
Shibli Faraz & Lt. Gen. (R) Asim Bajwa come with diverse skills
Shibi Faraz, the son of celebrated (late) poet, Ahmed Faraz, enjoys a respectable standing in the journalistic community. With this leverage and his soft spoken personality, Shibli might just prove to be a good choice to improve the government’s rather tense relations with the media.
At the same time, Lt. Gen. (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa is not new to dealing with the press as he comes with the past experience of serving as the military’s media spokesperson.
The Lt. General factor…
The induction of a retired lieutenant general may well force the media to avoid asking pointed questions and self-censor its criticism. That the new SAPM is a former military man will certainly change the mood of the briefings gong forward.
A fifth generation warfare strategy?
In addition to internal affairs, Bajwa’s induction has already stirred talks in Indian media. In this era of fifth generation warfare, it is speculated, he might serve as a good forefront against India.
Do you think that Shibli Faraz and Asim Bajwa would have a significant impact on the Ministry of Information and its relations with the media? Share your thoughts in the comments below.