NA body takes notice of ‘immoral content’ on TV channels
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly’s Sub-Committee on Information and Broadcasting, taking strict notice of telecast of immoral content on private television channels, has directed Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to play its role in this regard.
Pemra holds the stance that when it takes action against the channels on complaints by the viewers, they get stay orders from the courts. On the issue, Information Secretary Dr Nazir Saeed said that there should be a deadline for the stay order. He added that the Law Department of Pemra should be made functional. He also said that DTH Service was going to be launched to do away with the role of cable operators. He said that he was making efforts to start the service from the state-run television. The meeting of the NA body was chaired by its head Arifa Khalid.
Pemra officials said notice on any programme could only be taken after it was aired, and it could not be censored before its telecast. They further stated that Pakistan Broadcasters Association holds the stance that Pemra could not impose its code of conduct in this regard because the television channels were independent entities. Member of the parliamentary committee Waseem Akhtar Sheikh said the channel owners could not be given free hand. Chairperson of the committee said they could not let the values be destroyed.
The members also showed reservations about the airing of the performances of Indian actresses during the news bulletins, at which the Pemra officials said entertainment was part of the news bulletins. They further stated that the court issued stay orders without hearing Pemra.
The committee also took notice of the airing of anti-state words on some television channels. Pemra officials said that this was the violation of the court orders. The committee directed Pemra to restart work with reference to the case regarding rules for the aired material.