NA body to summon licence holders, anchors, editors of two channels
Airing baseless allegations
ISLAMABAD: National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage has decided to summon TV licence holders, anchor persons and editorial staff of TV channels 92 News and Channel 24 News on airing baseless allegations against public office holders and members of the Parliament in its next meeting.
The Committee met under the Chairmanship of Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla, MNA, in Parliament House on Tuesday. The Committee while discussing airing of baseless and false allegations against public office holders and members of the Parliament on TV channels had a consensus that no one should be allowed to cast accusations without any documentary evidence.
The Committee was also of the view that Pemra had failed to exercise its role as effective electronic media regulator. The members of the Committee observed that Pemra should have taken stern actions against anchor persons and TV channels for broadcasting such nefarious allegations and making mockery of chosen representatives that depicts their malafide intentions.
Chairman Pemra informed the Committee that Pemra had forwarded complaints received against above mentioned TV anchor persons to its Council of Complaints and the proceedings were in progress. The news channels have been repeatedly cautioned to abide by the Pemra code of conduct, however, few channels have failed to comply with instructions against which necessary actions have been initiated. He suggested that the parliamentary committees were supreme and had the inherent powers to summon the violators. Therefore, the Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage may summon TV licence holders, anchor persons and editorial staff of Channel 92 and Channel 24 News for airing baseless allegations, he added.
Later, the Standing Committee directed the MO Information to complete consultation process with media organisations for their input and submit draft of the Media Protection and Welfare Bill after institution of PFUJ.
The director general MO Information apprised the Committee that the process of consultation could not be completed due to postponement of elections of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists that would be held as per latest information in January 2017.
The meeting was attended by MNAs Malik Shakir Bashir Awan, Waseem Akhtar Shaikh, Tahir Iqbal Ch, Ms. Ghulam Bibi Bharwana, Ms. Parveen Masood Bhatti, Ms. Arifa Khalid Parvez, Ms. Marriyum Aurangzeb, Syed Amir Ali Shah Jamote, Imran Zafar Leghari, Ms. Belum Hasnain, Ms. Naeema Kishwar Khan and other senior officers of the concerned departments.