Fakhar Durrani
Islamabad— The federal government has spent almost Rs 15 million from the tax payers money to clarify its position regarding Panama leaks through advertisement on Thursday 28th of April’s newspapers.
Rao Tehsin Ali Khan, The Principle Information Officer while talking to this correspondent said he is not sure about the exact amount of the whole campaign. However, he said because the allegations were being leveled on the Prime Minister which is why the government of Pakistan has to advertise this in the national media to clarify Prime Minister’s position.
A well-placed source in the government informed this scribe on condition of anonymity that two advertising agencies based in Islamabad were selected for this campaign which was run on October 28 only for print media. One company released Rs 4 million’s ads on the print media whereas the other agency released almost Rs 11 million’s ads.
The political parties particularly opposition parties, media and social media criticized the government for spending public money on clarifying the position of Prime Minister’s family. Most of the political leaders commented that instead of paying from the public money the prime minister’s family or the PML-N itself should have paid for this campaign.

IK's tweet

PTI Chief Imran Khan publicly condemned the government’s campaign regarding Panama Leaks. In his social networking website Twitter account, the PTI Chief remarked, “Despite all their lies being exposed, Sharifs continue to use govt & public money to place false ads & propaganda in media. Condemnable”.
It is pertinent to mention here that the government ran a campaign on the local daily newspapers in which it claimed that the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has clarified about Prime Minister’s name in the Panama Leaks.
Meanwhile, Senator Kamil Ali Agha, Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting and National Heritage has convened  the committee meeting on May 09 and asked the PIO to clarify and brief the committee about clarification made by the government in response to the allegations made in the recent Panama Leaks in print media.

The Committee has also sought the detailed information about the expenditures occurred in respect of advertisement made in the print media and under which head the payment were made in this regard.
Standing Committee Letter

The committee has also sought the total amount incurred on the advertisements published by the government department indicating the channels and newspapers along with respective amount during last three years.


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