PEMRA invites experts to define 'obscenity' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

PEMRA invites experts to define ‘obscenity’

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Eletronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) invited experts on August 27 for consultations to thrash out a term ‘obscenity’ for electronic media which face criticism from certain quarters over its content.

In the wake of criticism from some politicians and other stakeholders, the authority decided to address the issue in order to give a direction to the electronic media with regards to what falls under this tag and what not, says a Pemra official while talking to The News.

Though the term ‘obscenity’ had been well-defined and articulated by various leading telecast outlets, the authority wanted to have it defined by experts from the Islamic perspective, he maintained referring to the objective of the initiative.

He pointed out that the consultative meeting would start its proceedings at 11:00am and likely to continue till consensus was reached on the matter.

An announcement by Pemra, meanwhile, said the meeting would engage all stakeholders, including veteran religious leaders, PBA, Cable Association, writers, columnists, journalists, academicians, media experts, advertisers and contents producers in consultation process to deliberate upon description of the term—obscenity—along with parameters vis-à-vis our socio-cultural and religious values.

In his statement, the Pemra chairman said that though no specific definition of the obscenity or vulgarity existed anywhere in the Constitution of Pakistan or Pakistan Penal Code or even in the Pemra laws, however, Pemra believed that these terminologies needed to be defined to guide electronic media that what was acceptable or unacceptable to the Pakistani society.

He noted for this purpose, Pemra, in its comprehensive Draft Content Regulations of February 2012, had inscribed some definitions of obscene contents, which were derived from international metaphors. The draft regulations were posted on Pemra website and were also massively publicised to fetch comments from public and stakeholders. The revised draft of said regulations was already uploaded on the Pemra website for comments of public and stakeholders.

The upcoming meeting is expected to be attended by Justice (r) Wajihuddin Ahmed, Qazi Hussain Ahmed (ex-Ameer Jamat-i-Islami), Ansar Abbassi, Muhammad Hussain Mehanti (Ameer, Jamat-i-Islami, Karachi), Lt Gen (r) Abdul Qayyum, Oriya Maqbool Jan, Javed Jabbar, Dr Mehdi Hassan, Muhammad Ziauddin (Executive Editor, Express Tribune), Mazhar Abbas, Ms Fauzia Saeed (HR activist) and representatives of the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA), Cable Operators Association of Pakistan (CAP), Pakistan Advertisers Society (PAS), United Producers Association and Pemra officials.

The News