Pemra fines channels for violating rules
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Complaints Council on Saturday imposed a fine of Rs 800,000 on ARY News for levelling a baseless allegation by anchorperson Shahid Masood against Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
A meeting chaired by Shamim Hamayun held hearing of a complaint filed by Dar against the ARY News programme ‘Live with Shahid Masood’ aired on February 19 and imposed the fine after the TV channel failed to provide any evidence to substantiate the claim.
The move came after the Complaints Council gave opportunities to the channel for providing proof but it failed to comply with the directives.
The council gave 14 days time to the channel for paying the fine and also issuing an apology in the same programme.
The ARY News and Sach TV were also fined for programmes ‘Sawal Yeh Hai K’ hosted by Dr Danish (February 7) and ‘Goya’ by Arsalan Khalid (February 28) respectively, on a complaint submitted by Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of Malala Yousafzai.
The complainant said he and her daughter were defamed in the abovementioned programmes and had declared blasphemers that multiplied the threat to their lives, which they had already been facing.
After hearing the parties concerned, the Complaints Council imposed a fine of Rs 800,000 on each of the two channels (to be paid within 14 days) and ordered them to air an apology in primetime.
Hearing a complaint filed by Minister of State Saira Afzal Tarar, it directed the ARY News to present evidence on next hearing to be held within 15 days or face action.
The ARY News in its Jan 21 programme ‘The Reporters’ had aired a news item concerning alleged malpractices and corruption in procurement of vaccine without any proof.