Pemra Council fines private TV channel for inciting democratic set-up dislodgement

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Islamabad—PEMRA Council of Complaints on Saturday recommended imposition of Rs100,000 fine on ARY News on charges of incitement for dislodgement of democratic setup.
The Council, which met with Professor Ms. Shamim Humayun in the chair, heard the complaint lodged by Ms. Shanila Sikandar against ARY News programme “Sawal Ye Hai” hosted by Dr. Danish.
It took serious cognizance of the act of host appealing to the Army Chief to come and take over the country and topple the democratic set-up and opined that “the channel be fined with Rs.100,000 and a Warning be issued for airing content that incite dislodgement of the democratic set-up, debasing and demeaning a group of persons in violation of Clause 3(1)(b) of Code of Conduct-2015 implemented by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.”
The Council also recommended to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to issue an advice to all satellite television channels to refrain from using derogatory words against persons and the institutions.
In another complaint of Aviation Division against ARY News, the Council directed issuing a warning to the channel for maligning the government functionaries, including the Aviation Division and its attached departments, and for airing allegation without credible information and not affording a fair opportunity to the victims to defend themselves.
It also directed ARY News to air apology and rebuttal in the same manner and magnitude during prime time within 15 days for airing false/incorrect information. In case of failure to comply with the directives, the Council recommended PEMRA to proceed against the channel as per law.
While hearing the complaint lodged by Dr. Taimur Rahman, Assistant Professor, Political Science, LUMS against programme titled ‘At Q with Ahmed Qureshi’, the Council recommended issuing a warning to Express News channel for airing content containing hatred against Dr Taimur and leveling allegations without credible information and for not giving complainant a fair opportunity of self-defence while airing allegations against the victim and calling him directly or indirectly the enemy of Pakistan.
The Council also recommended issuing advice to all satellite TV licensees to strictly refrain from calling a person anti-Pakistan, traitor, anti-Islam, kafir, enemy of Pakistan, or using racial and religious discriminatory words, etc. against any citizen of the state.
Council members, including Prof. Dr. Maqsood Jafri, Dr. Shah Jahan Sayed and Mr. Amjad Ali Afridi (RGM / Secretary, CoCs, Islamabad) attended the meeting.—INP

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