BHC to hear Kakar's petition against Pemra today -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

BHC to hear Kakar’s petition against Pemra today

QUETTA: The Balochistan High Court (BHC) will hear today (Wednesday) the constitutional petition of ex-chief of Pemra Balochistan, Gul Muhammad Kakar, who was removed/repatriated by acting chairman Pemra, Dr Jabbar, during the telecast of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.

Kakar has prayed before the BHC that he was serving as Regional General Manager (RGM) Pemra Balochistan on deputation and was pre-maturely repatriated to his parent department on March 2, 2011 merely for the reason that he refused to obey illegal orders of executive member Pemra Dr Jabbar who was also looking after the charge of the chairman Pemra office.

Kakar prayed that he was working in Pemra in accordance with government rules and regulations and the case of his absorption was also under consideration when during the 2011 cricket World Cup he was ordered by Dr Jabbar to manage to get the signals of Geo Super television frozen and disturbed.

Kakar has further prayed that as the Supreme Court and Islamabad High Court (IHC) in different judgements have ordered that Pemra should ensure that no satellite channel except Geo Super broadcast ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 matches, so he refused to obey the illegal orders. Kakar further prayed that when he refused to obey the illegal orders of Dr Jabbar, the latter directly managed to get the constant shuffling of the number of Geo Super channel on cable network and disturbing and freezing of its signal.

Kakar prayed that he has done everything to uphold principles and respect the judgements of the superior courts. He said Dr Jabbar has issued orders to repatriate him though he himself is simply executive member in Pemra and is not competent authority to do so. Kakar further prayed that Dr Jabbar has been given the look after charge of the office of chairman Pemra and he was not having the current charge so was not competent to issue orders to remove him from Pemra. His orders were issued with mala fide intention and by a person who was not competent authority to do this so Pemra’s order dated March 2, 2011 should be declared illegal and void ab initio.

After Kakar shook up the whole set-up during the telecast of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 by revealing illegal tactics of the acting Pemra chief, Pemra has taken the stance that Kakar was not its official but was an employee of Balochistan University. It tried to befool the nation by showing that those who work on deputation are not employees of that organization even when they are there and that too under well-established rules and regulations.

After KakarÂ’s disclosures, the Pemra chief said he has written a letter to Balochistan University to take action against Kakar. Dr Jabbar, however, forgot to mention that this was the same Kakar to which Pemra had issued appreciation letter a few months back on his exceptional and outstanding performance in Balochistan.

During the broadcast of 2011 World Cup matches, Kakar had unveiled the Pemra chairman’s game plan to misuse his executive authority and defy the Supreme Court, by inflicting heavy damage on the Jang Group by illegally interrupting the cricket World Cup matches telecast by Geo Super TV channel.

Gul Muhammad Kakar, who was Pemra’s Balochistan chief, was ordered by Dr Jabbar, Pemra’s acting chairman in Islamabad, to defy the Supreme Court orders and get Geo Super’s signal frozen and disturbed during the telecast of cricket matches of ICC World Cup 2011. Kakar had presented documentary evidences before the nation that Geo was being penalised and persecuted unlawfully by Pemra.

When the conscientious officer resisted and refused to commit such a crime and took a stand that he would implement the Supreme Court judgement, he was removed from his position. Kakar had also moved an application in the Supreme Court, requesting Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take suo moto notice of his wrongful removal from Pemra Balochistan merely for attempting to implement the apex courtÂ’s orders and for not complying with unlawful orders of its acting chairman having simply look-after charge of the office of the chairman.

Evidence showed that the RGM Balochistan wrote to Pemra Chairman Dr Abdul Jabbar on March 3, 2011 that he saw no reason for his abrupt removal other than his urge to respect the Supreme Court’s decision with regard to the telecast of World Cup matches on cable network through Geo Super.

Kakar also had referred to the verbal orders of Dr Jabbar, who, according to the letter, expected of him to let the interruption of Geo Super’s World Cup telecast by freezing the Geo Super signal and shuffling the channel number on cable networks in the province. The communication clearly indicates that Dr Jabbar gave verbal orders to interrupt Geo Super’s World Cup telecast, a clear violation of Supreme Court order. Kakar noted in the said document that when he refused to obey the verbal orders of Dr Jabbar, the latter directly got signals of Geo Super frozen during telecast of World Cup matches. On this RGM Balochistan, Kakar took action but was removed from Pemra by Dr Jabbar.

Pemra and the government sources confirmed to The News that the Presidency used Pemra through its executive member Dr Jabbar by giving him acting charge of chairman office to disturb Geo Super signals so that the Jang and Geo Group could be inflicted financial losses in terms of lost advertisement revenues to prevent it from exposing corruption of the top PPP leadership at the time of upcoming general elections.

This was in blatant violation of assurances Pemra had given before the Supreme Court that Geo Super’s legal rights would be fully protected. In practice, however, it was secretly involved in the dirty game which was finally publicly exposed by the Pemra’s Balochsitan chief.

The official Pemra letters available with The News show that the general public registered complaints with Pemra offices that Geo Super signal was being repeatedly shuffled and there were problems with its signals. According to these documents, Gul Muhammad Kakar, in his capacity as RGM Balochistan, issued notice (RGM/QTA/(273)/2011/167) to one major cable network of Balochistan namely Combined Broadband Cable Network on February 21, 2011 (3rd day after starting of World Cup). This notice, which is attached with Kakar’s petition in the BHC, reads in its second paragraph: “It has been regretfully observed by the Authority through several public complaints that you are not complying with the instructions issued in abovementioned circulars and found airing Indian channel i.e. Star Cricket for ICC World Cup 2011 and scrambled the frequency of Geo Super which is clear violation of Pemra Ordinance 2002 and is contempt of the honourable court for not implementing its orders in letter and spirit pertaining to the distribution of ICC World Cup 2011 only on Geo Super. Therefore, you are hereby directed through this notice to stop airing any satellite TV channel/channels other than Geo Super for broadcasting of ICC World Cup 2011 (Live). Non-compliance on the matter will lead your firm to strict legal action which may lead to seizure of the equipment, fine or revocation of your cable TV licence as per Pemra rules.”

According to the documents, the Geo Super signals continued to be disturbed and its channel number shuffled despite the issuance of this notice. After public complaints, RGM Kakar issued a ‘warning’ to the same major cable network of Quetta. The ‘warning’ letter, also attached with Kakar’s petition reads: “With reference to this office circular No RGM/QTA/(44)/2011/99 dated January 25, 2011, RGM/QTA/(44)/2011/168 dated February 21, 2011 and Notice No RGM/QTA/(273)/2011/167 dated February 21, 2011 on subject (Broadcast of ‘ICC World Cup 2011’ on Geo Super) matter. It is regretfully observed by the Authority that you paid no heed to the instruction issued to you pertaining to the distribution of ICC World Cup 2011 on Geo Super only. You are hereby once again directed through this warning to bring Geo Super on its old position i.e. 19 No slot, set the frequency correctly and stop airing any other satellite TV channel that is involved in broadcasting ICC World Cup 2011 illegally with immediate effect. Non-compliance with the instructions through warning will make your firm liable to strict legal action which may lead to seizure of the equipment, fine or revocation of your cable TV licence as per Pemra laws.”

Kakar also attached with the petition all the communications between him and the Pemra’s acting chairman. Kakar’s first letter to Dr Jabbar requesting cancellation of his repatriation, at one point while explaining the reason of his remova,l reads as: “Sir, I am sorry because I was not in a position to obey your orders due to Supreme Court orders passed in favour of Geo Super.” Besides Kakar, different cable operators approached Islamabad High Court through petitions informing the court that Pemra was writing them letters to obey Supreme Court orders regarding Geo Super but was verbally giving instructions to disturb and freeze Geo Super signal.

Despite the fact that everything was unearthed and conspiracy against the biggest media group of the country was exposed by the top Pemra official, the Jang group was being punished for speaking the truth and exposing the corruption of rulers.

The Group has, however, announced that it will keep on fighting but it hopes and expects that all freedom loving institutions and organisations, people and parties will join hands now that the cat is out of the bag and it has become clear that the government is bent upon bulldozing its way, breaking all laws, trampling upon the rights guaranteed by the highest courts and the constitution of the country. Let there be open and rapid accountability of the culprits.
Source: The News