Absar Alam is an acclaimed anchorperson and journalist who did hosting of many programs on ‘Aaj Pakistan.’ He was designated as PEMRA chairman on 14th November 2015. Then-President Mamnoon Hussain appointed him on Nawaz Shareef’s recommendation, but Lahore High Commission fired him and stated that he is illegally appointed. This article has all the information about him, including Absar Alam Biography.
|In Urdu:||ابصار عالم|
|Famous As:||Chairman of PEMRA|
|Profession:||Jounalist and Anchor Person|
|Designation:||Tv Anchor / Journalist|
|Institution / Org:||Aaj Television|
|Recommended By:||Nawaz Sharif|
|Time Period:||14th November 2015 – 18th December 2017|
|Appointed By:||Mamnoon Hussain|
Absar Alam Biography
Absar has a wide journalism experience and has worked with various T.V. channels and newspapers and also remained associated with an English-Language daily newspaper for ten years in multiple capacities, i.e. as resident editor and a correspondent. He also enjoyed Nieman fellowship at Harvard University in the U.S.A. during 2004-2005.
His name lay at the top of the list of investigative reporters. He reported on politics, economics, terrorism, violence, human rights, and foreign policy. Absar did coverage of the devastating earthquake of 2005 in Kashmir for NYT (New York Times). He also reported on U.S. War on Terror after attacks of 9/11 for American newspaper ‘The Boston Globe.’
Since 2009 he has been leading a private welfare-organization ‘The Foundation Open Society Institute Pakistan’ that works for accountability, primary education and safety of journalists.
Designation as PEMRA Chairman
In 2015 Federal Government appointed him as Chairman PEMRA (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) and President Mamnoon Hussein approved his appointment summary on recommendation PM Nawaz Shareef.
The incumbent Govt advertised the Chairman post following orders of Supreme Court. A committee constituted and Minister Pervez Rasheed chairperson of this committee. This committee took interviews of Thirty-Two candidates for this post on 29th and 30th September and then shortlisted I.G.B. Islamabad and Absar Alam for the post.
Threats by M.Q.M. Chairperson Altaf Hussain
In 2015 after continuously receiving threats from Altaf Hussain Alam announced that in future if any bad thing would happen to him and his family, he would report against M.Q.M. Chairman Altaf. Hussain directly threatened him in his address to participants of the sit-in organized by M.Q.M. against re-polling in Constituency NA-250.
In his speech, Altaf said ‘Media people have all the rights to criticize but don’t spread lies and fake news against sons of founders of Pakistan. Later he modified his statements and apologized to anchors and other media people for hurting them. While in his former address, he warned all the media persons that if they wouldn’t modify the ways some of them would lose their lives.
He stated that media is biasedly against M.Q.M. and inappropriately portray them. He warned all the Media people to stop playing these games with his party otherwise not only anchors but also the owners wouldn’t get some space to hide.
LHC Fired Alam
A citizen Muneer Ahmad challenged Absar’s appointment as Pemra chairperson. On 29th November court reserved decision on the petition against this appointment.
The filer claimed that Absar didn’t fulfil the appointment criteria and he is misusing this post by following agenda of PML-N, further adding that S.C. prohibited contractual hiring on permanent-basis. In contrast, PML-N appointed Absar as PEMRA’s acting chairperson. S.C. fired him from this post.
Government Asked PEMRA to Recover 36.75 Million from Alam
The Federal Govt via Information & Broadcasting Ministry directed PEMRA to recover Rupees 36.75 Million from former PEMRA’s chairperson Absar Alam. Ministry in its letter on 16th January 2020 directed Chairman PEMRA to recover the amount from Absar.
Earlier in 2019 Federal Government asked Absar to return the money he received in salary, privileges and perks form. He received 36.75 Million Rupees as salary in two years on which PEMRA paid a tax of amount 13.76 Million, so total pay that he received is Rupees 50.42 Million.
Role of Advocate Azhar in Notification Regarding Amount Recovery
Advocate Azhar Sidique who earlier had challenged Absar’s appointment in High Court, pleaded before S.C. to issue notification of amount recovery from him. According to Azhar, he hasn’t submitted any written application; he has only orally pleaded during a hearing of the Fifty-Six companies case.
However, he stated that then-CJ Mian Saqib directed him verbally to approach N.A.B. for this task. After this direction, he approached the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and N.A.B.
F.I.R. Against Alam for Using Bad Language
In Sep 2020 he again became subject of news as a Jhelum based lawyer registered an F.I.R. against Alam and accused him of using foul language against PM Imran Khan and state institutions on social media. All the journalist community, however, condemned this F.I.R. and showed solidarity with Alam. Media persons complained that in Pakistan media don’t have freedom of speech.
Social Media Handles
His social media account include