Ehsan Ullah Ehsan’s interview: Geo terms ban one-sided, to adopt legal course
ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Thursday prohibited Geo News from airing of the interview of Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson Ehsan Ullah Ehsan in Jirga (TV show) as well as its promo.
It has come to Pemra’s notice through monitoring that the private TV channel Geo News in its programme ‘Jirga’, which is hosted by journalist Saleem Safi, is going to telecast the interview of Ehsan Ullah Ehsan on (Thursday) April 27, 2017.
This, the authority said, is a clear violation of Pemra’s directives that it had issued under the National Action Plan and Section 3(3) of Electronic Media Code of Conduct, 2015. Ever since promo of the interview of Ehsan Ullah Ehsan was aired on Geo News, Pemra received a number of complaints through WhatsApp, SMS, Facebook, Twitter and Pemra’s call centre.
The complainants expressed their anger and anguish asking upon Pemra to stop airing of the programme. Before the situation could take an ugly turn, Pemra through an order has prohibited Geo TV from airing the interview of Ehsan Ullah Ehsan in the said programme ‘Jirga’ as well as its promo.
As per Pemra’s Rules and Code of Conduct (CoC) 2015, glorification of terrorists cannot be allowed except the confessional statement which has already been released by the investigating agency. Even in that statement, only the selected parts are allowed to be aired which don not, in any manner, glorify a terrorist and his terrorist set-up.
In case of non-compliance of Pemra’s decision, strict action will be taken against the violators under Sections 29 and 30 of Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by Pemra Act 2007. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) is a terrorist organisation and Ehsan Ullah Ehsan, Pemra noted, has been a spokesperson of this terrorist outfit. During the last several years, he has taken responsibility of mass murder of Pakistani nationals through terrorist activities across the country.
“Thousands of children, men, women civil and military officials lost their lives due to the heinous crimes of his terrorist organisation. It is quite heart-wrenching and deeply disturbing for the loved ones of those martyred in terrorist acts to see the member of a terrorist outfit appearing on TV screens in any capacity/mode, a known militant who earlier would claim responsibility for acts of massacre,” it said.
In its reaction to the one-sided Pemra ban, Geo News said that it would adopt a legal course and continue to reveal facts in interest of the masses. Geo programme Jirga interviewed terrorist Ehsanullah Ehsan in which he advised other terrorists to surrender. He also admitted to his startling crimes. The ISPR had also released his confessional statement, which shows a great success of operation Raddul Fasaad and law enforcement agencies. Pemra had interpreted the interview wrongly and banned its telecast.