Pemra asked to take stern ac­tion against TV chan­nels vi­o­lat­ing Ra­mazan sanc­tity

Pakistan Observer - - NATIONAL -

IS­LAM­ABAD—Se­nate Stand­ing Com­mit­tee on In­for­ma­tion, Broad­cast­ing and Na­tional Her­itage on Thurs­day di­rected Pak­istan Elec­tronic Me­dia Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity (PEMRA) to take stern ac­tion against the tele­vi­sion chan­nels vi­o­lat­ing its rules and reg­u­la­tions re­gard­ing sanc­tity of Ra­mazan .

The meet­ing, chaired by Kamil Ali Agha, was dis­cussing Ra­mazan trans­mis­sion of TV chan­nels and the role of me­dia here.

The com­mit­tee also took note over stay or­der against PEMRA de­ci­sion to ban “Inamghar” pro­gramme of a pri­vate chan­nel for show­ing sui­cide pic­tures of girl, air­ing abu­sive lan­guage and in­de­cent call of woman.

Chair­man PEMRA Ab­sar Alam told the com­mit­tee that the au­thor­ity thought that the court will not give re­lief to the con­cerned

chan­nel due to very sound ev­i­dence but its ban was over­ruled within min­utes in the cham­ber of the court.

He said that PEMRA had is­sued di­rec­tives well be­fore ad­vent of Ra­mazan for keep­ing in mind its sanc­tity.

He also told the com­mit­tee that an­other TV chan­nel has been given stay against the ban on re-en­act­ment of crime scenes, which he feared will give free hand to all chan­nels to restart such pro­grammes.

The com­mit­tee mem­bers said that they would take up the is­sue in the Se­nate for de­tailed de­bate. Chair­man PEMRA Ab­sar Alam pro­posed that fine for vi­o­la­tion of rules should be in­creased as it would hurt the fi­nan­cial in­ter­est of the pro­pri­etors and not the work­ers.

About ban on some an­chors for hurt­ing re­li­gious sen­ti­ments, the com­mit­tee said that the is­sue was set­tled dur­ing Z.A. Bhutto era and there was no need to re­open this de­bate at this junc­ture.

Ne­hal Hashmi said that Hamza Ab­basi had hurt the sen­ti­ments of en­tire na­tion and he should be banned from all chan­nels.

The com­mit­tee mem­bers also opined that rat­ing race among var­i­ous TV chan­nels was the main rea­son be­hind high­light­ing con­tro­ver­sial is­sues on the mini-screen.

It di­rected the Min­istry of IB&NH to launch its own sys­tem for judg­ing the view­er­ship of the TV chan­nels.

Sec­re­tary IB&NH Syed Im­ran Gardezi in­formed the com­mit­tee that Di­rec­torate of Elec­tronic Me­dia and Pub­li­ca­tions has been fo­cus­ing on the is­sue and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with PTCl, it has de­vel­oped a mech­a­nism to mon­i­tor one lac sub­scribers.

He said that rat­ings was im­por­tant for the chan­nels as they get ad­ver­tise­ments on the ba­sis of their view­er­ship.

The com­mit­tee is­sued di­rec­tives to PEMRA that it should present a draft of pro­posed amend­ments in the laws re­gard­ing con­trol on drama­ti­za­tion of crimere­lated scenes.

The Sec­re­tary IB&NH as­sured the com­mit­tee that pen­sion of Lok Virsa em­ploy­ees will be dis­bursed by Mon­day as the ad­di­tional grant for them has been ap­proved by the Fi­nance Divi­sion now. The meet­ing was at­tended by Sen­a­tors Farhat­ul­lah Babar, Saeed Ghani, Rubina Khalid, Ghous Ni­azi, Ne­hal Hashmi and Yaqub Nasar.

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