Pemra asks TV channels to apologise over Hamza, Talib controversy
ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday directed two televison channels to air an apology for airing “irresponsible” comments during their Ramazan transmission.
According to a notification issued by Pemra, both the channels have assured that they will air a formal apology to “curtail the unrest caused by them”.
The notification states that after airing the apology, the ban on Hamza Ali Abbasi and Shabbir Abu Talib will be lifted and they will be able to take part in the TV programs.
The decision was taken in the 33rd session of Pemra complaint council.
Pemra had earlier barred actor Hamza Ali Abbasi and TV show host Shabbir Abu Talib from hosting their Ramazan shows on two different TV channels after a question raised by Hamza regarding declaring Ahmadis non-Muslims by the state triggered the row.
In a statement issued last week, Pemra had stated that it had received 1,133 complaints through Whatsapp, Twitter and telephone calls regarding the transmissions.
The complainants said both shows had aired provocative content.
The regulatory body had asked the TV channels to implement the decision by 7pm on June 17, 2016.
The Pemra notification further added if the hosts Hamza, Shabbir and religious preacher Maulana Kokab Noorani, who made remarks inciting violence against Hamza, appear on any other channel and discuss the controversial issue or any other such topic, then that programme will also be banned.
The regulatory authority had notified the concerned individuals in this regard and had asked them to appear before the Complaints Council Karachi and record their statements on June 20, after which Pemra was to announce its decision.