Statements of banned outfits on TV channels prohibited | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Statements of banned outfits on TV channels prohibited

Pakistan Press Foundation

ISLAMABAD: The electronic media regulator has issued a directive to all satellite-based news,
current affairs and regional channels for the upcoming general elections scheduled to be held on
February 8 next year.
As per the directive issued by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on
Friday, the channels cannot air statements of proscribed organisations or their representatives or
members. However, it added, such statements were allowed only if they were in the larger public
interest for exposing ideology, abuse of religion or barbarianism by such entities.
To strengthen democracy, democratic norms and electoral process, Pemra said, it was a national
obligation of all the citizens of Pakistan, institutions, organisations and entities to extent utmost
support and facilitation for conducting free, fair and transparent elections.
“Electronic media has a pivotal role in educating masses, building and shaping fair opinion and
strengthening democratic process required for establishment of democratic government in the
country,” the directive said.
Pemra tells electronic media to avoid content that may sabotage conduct of general elections
Pemra said private behaviour, information, correspondence and conversation should not be
brought into public domain unless there is a public interest. It added that all the licensees, while
airing their transmission prior to the general elections, must be mindful of the fact that no such
content is aired which may create doubts in the minds of general public with regard to conduct of
elections or sabotage elections through any negative / false news, information or report.
“Airing of any such news or content was a violation of PEMRA laws, including the Code of
Conduct 2015, in general,” Pemra said, adding that ‘no content can be aired which was against
the Islamic values, ideology of Pakistan or founding fathers of the nation, including the Quaid-i-
Azam and Dr Allama Mohammad Iqbal.
The Pemra directive said that if a hate speech was made by any guest, the channel and its
representative must stop the participant and remind the audience that no one has the authority to
declare any other citizen as a Kafir or enemy of Pakistan, Islam or any other religion.
Any content that incites or condones dislodgement of democratic setup against the command of
the Constitution of Pakistan is not allowed. However, discussions over improvement of
democracy are allowed.
Illegal content includes any call to arms against Pakistan or anything against the integrity,
security and defence of Pakistan, derogatory remarks or visuals against any religion, sect,
community and ethnic groups that promote communal and sectarian disharmony.

Channels cannot air anything indecent, obscene or pornographic, abusive comment against any
individual or group of persons, based on race, caste, nationality, ethnic or linguistic origin,
colour, religion, sect, gender, age, mental or physical disability.
Pemra has also directed the channels to be aware of the violations of copyrights or other related
property rights laws.
Similarly, any false content, aspersions against the judiciary or armed forces of Pakistan,
intimidation, blackmail or false incrimination of any person, or depicts behaviour such as
smoking, alcohol consumption, narcotics and drug abuse in a glamorous manner, are not allowed
to be aired.
The electronic channels have been reminded of similar restriction regarding news and current
affairs programmes, and they must ensure that if, during a talk show or news show, a guest
makes or asserts an opinion that is presented as a fact on a serious issue, the channel and or its
representative must intervene and protect the audience by clarifying that this is an opinion and
not a fact.
Similarly, if the host or the moderator is giving his/her own opinion, they must also clarify that it
is a personal opinion and not a fact.
Pemra has warned of strict action against satellite TV channel licensees in case of any such

Source: Dawn

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