Pemra spurns directions of parliamentary panels -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Pemra spurns directions of parliamentary panels

Tahir Khalil

ISLAMABAD: In a rare show of impunity, Pemra ignored the directions and recommendations of the Standing Committees on Communication and Broadcasting of both the NA and Senate on lifting ban on the most popular sports channel Geo Super which was closed 59 days ago.

The NA committee that met on April 19 with its chairperson Begum Belam Hasnain in the chair, and the Senate committee that met on April 26 with chairman Haji Ghulam Ali in chair, both separately discussed the ban on Geo Super in detail. Most of the members of the two committees termed the ban unjustified.

The NA committee set up a sub-committee headed by Ch Saeed Iqbal MNA to resolve the issue. Other members of the committee were Shireen Arshad Khan (PML-N), Farhat Mohammad Khan (MQM) and Istiqbal Khan (ANP). The sub committee held two meetings, on May 3 and May 11. In the last meeting the sub committee termed the accusation of Pemra wrong and that of Geo right, that Geo Super was on from Dubai and no permission was being granted to air the programmes for viewers in Pakistan. The sub committee directed Pemra to immediately grant up-linking permission to Geo Super so that it could telecast sports events.

Standing committees of both the houses of the Parliament mulled over the issue of Geo Super closure and took notice that Pemra had refused to issue telecast permission from Pakistan on the pretext of ‘security clearance’. The sub committee had even accepted the invitation of Geo Super and decided to visit Dubai in a fortnight to see for themselves the set up of Geo Super there. At that time Ch Saeed Iqbal, the chairman of the sub committee, had declared that the committee would see into it that its decision is implemented and no party ignores the decision of the committee. However, in spite of the passage of 23 days the decision of the Parliamentary Committee has not been implemented and Pemra has not withdrawn the order of closing down Geo Super.
Source: The News