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Notice to Pakistan TV channel for airing 'hate speech' against PM Nawaz Sharif

News Agencies | Updated on: 25 March 2017, 17:09 IST

Pakistan's electronic media watchdog has issued a notice to a prominent TV channel for airing "hate speech" against Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on 24 March, 2017 asked private ARY News channel to respond to the notice by 31 March, 2017.

According to the details, a guest speaker, who appeared on a programme 'The Reporter' on 23 March, 2017, termed a recent statement of Sharif as "blasphemous".

"This is a very dangerous trend. The hosts of the programme neither intervened on this occasion nor stopped him from passing such comments, which is a violation of PEMRA rules," the media watchdog said.

Airing of "any offensive, provocative or derogatory remarks falls in clear violation of PEMRA Act and various sections of the PEMRA Code of Conduct 2015," it said.

It asked the channel to explain why action should not be taken against it for airing "hate speech".

The regulator has the authority to ban the channel's programme, cancel its operating licence and impose a fine of Rs one million for the crime it committed.

Meanwhile, PEMRA has also issued show cause notices to nine TV channels -- Ab Tak TV, Waqt TV, Channel 5, Sach TV, 7 News, Aaj TV, Roze TV, News One and Capital TV -- for airing "fake news" about a plane crash near Rawalpindi on 22 March, 2017.

The channels have been asked to submit a reply by 31 March, 2017.

It also issued a separate notice to Dawn News TV for failing to complying with its orders to suspend 'Zara Hat Kay' talk show for three days.

The host of the show on 9 March, 2017 had discussed a corruption case against Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court despite the case being sub-judice in the Supreme Judicial Council, which hears cases against judges of superior courts.


First published: 25 March 2017, 16:54 IST