Blasphemy: Court summons owners of over 20 channels | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Blasphemy: Court summons owners of over 20 channels

Pakistan Press Foundation

SARGODHA: A sessions court here on Monday summoned the owners of 20 TV channels and Federal Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed on June 4 (tomorrow) over the broadcasting of material blasphemous to the Ahle Bait.

Muhammad Ilyaz Qadri of village 71 Shumali had filed an application with the additional district and sessions judge against the owners of 20 TV channels, including ARY, Express, Dunya, Samaa TV, Geo News and Dawn News, contending that these channels had been airing religiously controversial programmes for some time. Meanwhile, Geo News also aired a controversial morning show over which it apologised to people, but none of the other channels apologised and brazenly aired vulgar and religiously controversial programmes.

Qadri contended that the channels, now making a hue and cry over a controversial broadcast in the Geo morning show, had themselves aired similar objectionable programmes. Meanwhile, the Imambargah Dur-e-Abbas administrator has filed an application with the sessions court for registration of cases against five TV channels — ARY, Express, Dunya, Samaa and Ab Tak — contending that Geo TV had apologised over the blasphemous broadcast but these channels neither apologised nor were they proceeded against. The court summoned the owners on June 5 (tomorrow).

Bahawalpur correspondent adds: Additional Sessions Judge Bahawalpur Haider Amin Monday issued direction to PS Baghdadul Jadeed police for initiating proceedings against anchorperson Mubashir Lucman and chief executive officers (CEOs) of Express News channel Sultan Lakhani, Dunya TV Mian Aamer Mehmood, ARY, Samaa TV and Ab Tak News for repeatedly airing blasphemous programme on their channels.

The Judge passed the direction while hearing the 22-A petition filed by lawyer Syed Lal Shah in which the petitioner requested action against the above-mentioned CEOs and the anchorperson who had repeatedly aired the blasphemous programme regarding Ahle Bait just in their professional rivalry and their this act had harmed sentiments of the Muslims.

The petition was filed on May 28th and the judge conducted the hearing on June 2 and announced the direction for the action by PS Baghdadul Jadeed. The detailed judgment will be released on Tuesday (today). After the direction former general secretary district bar association Munawar Hussain Bukhari told The News that Geo News apologized on the issue but the above-mentioned channels and Mubashir Lucman had deliberately repeatedly aired the blasphemous programme.

He said the petitioner first requested the PS Baghdadul Jadeed for the case against the CEOs, but on refusal by the police, the petitioner filed the 22-A plea with the District and Sessions Judge Bahawalpur Muhammad Rasheed Qamar, who forwarded the plea to additional sessions judge Haider Amin. He said Tuesday (today) they would approach the relevant police station for the registration of FIR.

The News