Prime Minister orders review of PEMRA regulations after report by The News
By: Ansar Abbasi
ISLAMABAD: Taking serious notice of The News report, Prime Minister Pervaiz Asharf has decided to review the flawed Pemra Content Regulation 2012, which are secular in nature and do not even mention Islam, Islamic values, the ideology and defence of Pakistan.
His spokesman Shafqat Jalil told this correspondent that a high level committee would soon be constituted by the prime minister to review the matter.
Jalil informed that Pemra’s point of view was sought on The News report but the authority’s reply was unsatisfactory. “The Prime Minister was not satisfied with Pemra’s reply so decided to get the matter reviewed through a high level committee,” he said. Following the publication of The News story, the prime minister had sought comments from Pemra’s acting chairman.
It was reported by this newspaper last week that Pemra’s Content Regulations 2012, notified last month, do not contain any mention of Islam, Islamic values, ideology of Pakistan and even the integrity of the institution of defence and armed forces.
These regulations that would be directly related to the content including programmes and advertisement produced by the private television channels; do not have any provision to safeguard any attack on Islam, Islamic values, ideology of Pakistan and even the institution of defence and armed forces.
There are safeguards provided for “Religious and ethnic harmony” as well as “the ethical and social values” but Islam, the Islamic values and even the ideology of Pakistan do not find any place in these regulations.
The Constitution of Pakistan, Pemra Act and even the Pemra Rules framed by the Parliament and the government contained clear protection for the “glory of Islam”, “Islamic values”, “Ideology of Pakistan” and the institution of defence and armed forces. However, none of them have been reflected in the Pemra Content Regulations made by the Pemra itself but in disregard to parameters set by the Parliament and the government.
Acting Chairman Pemra Dr Abdul Jabbar when approached had said that this was not possible that the things like ideology of Pakistan, Islam and Islamic values, the institution of armed forces etc were not mentioned in these Regulations, which he said were prepared and finalized by the Pemra following months’ long consultation with all the stakeholders. However, the reading of the Pemra’s Content Regulations 2012 as is available on the Pemra’s website proved the Dr Jabbar wrong.