Pemra empowers its chief to shut down any channel
ISLAMABAD: Pemra has delegated powers to shut down any channels instantly upon violating the code of conduct for media to its chairman Absar Alam.
Pemra has taken notice of exaggerated coverage of protests and stated that such attempts have created panic in society and can risk people’s life and limb. It said some channels are creating sensationalism through their analyses and tickers that could lead to fanning sectarianism, intolerance and deterioration of law and order situation.
It said such activities amount to destroy National Action Plan at a time when Operation Zarb-e-Azb is going on. It warned TV channels against arranging such programmes in which representatives of different sects are pitted against each other and are incited to speak on sectarian issues.
It stopped TV channels from airing any programme that could lead to sectarianism or incite hatred against a state institute or any official. It advised TV channels to follow NAP and media code of conduct set by the Supreme Court.
Meanwhile, Pemra made it clear that violation of the Code of Conduct would not be tolerated. Pemra, in its 110th meeting approved imposition of Rs200,000 fine, each on Geo Kahani and ARY News Channels.
The meeting made it clear that in the name of enactment, no violation of the Code of Conduct would be tolerated. The Authority ordered both the channels to deposit fine by March 14 and air apology in the same manner and magnitude during prime time (6.00pm to 1.00am) and during repeat transmission and also in the form of tickers, or else, transmission of both TV channels be suspended, says a press release issued here.
Fine on Geo Kahani has been imposed for airing objectionable language used by Dr Aamir Liaquat, whereas fine on ARY News has been imposed for airing objectionable remarks of a participant, Zaid Hamid, in a talk show “Sawal Yeh Hai” hosted by Dr Danish dated December 12, 2015.
The imposition of fines was recommended by the Council of Complaints, Karachi in its 28th meeting held on February 9, 2016. In pursuance to its mandate of promoting education, the Authority approved grant of Non-Commercial FM Radio to Information Technology University, Lahore. Before this, Pemra granted 47 non-commercial FM licenses including major universities and colleges offering media related studies.
Analysing the demand and requirement for more FM radios in various uncovered parts of the country, the Authority also deliberated on proposal for launching Phase IX of FM radio licensing.
Discussing, the menace of re-enactment programs, crime shows and intrusion to public privacy along with the police and TV cameras, the Authority resolved that no such programs shall be tolerated which are against the Code of Ethics, orders of the superior Courts and socio-cultural values of the society. In this regard, the Authority delegated powers to its Chairman Absar Alam to take any appropriate action to address the issue.
Secretary Information Imran Gardezi, Chairman PTA Dr Ismail Shah, Sarfraz Jatoi (Member, Sindh), Nargis Nasir (Member Punjab) and Shaheen Habibullah (Member Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) were present in the meeting.