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Pakistan regulatory body warns TV channels to avoid airing content against army, judiciary

News Agencies | Updated on: 17 May 2022, 9:30 IST

A key Pakistan regulatory authority has issued directives to TV channels across the country to refrain from telecasting content against state institutions, including Army and Judiciary.

"PEMRA while issuing a directive warned all satellite TV channels to refrain (corn telecasting content against state institutions i.e. Judiciary and Armed Forces while airing their talk shows, news bulletins and live coverage of public gatherings," the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) said in a press statement.

PEMRA said that licensees have been sensitized to the fact that ridiculing state institutions, especially the judiciary and armed forces, is against their laws and various judgements of the Superior Courts.

In the past, PEMRA has repeatedly urged its licensees to refrain from airing slanderous campaigns/content against any state institution, as the airing of such content, prima facie is deemed as propaganda.

The regulatory authority further warned the satellite channels to remain vigilant and stop airing malicious, obnoxious or derogatory material through their platform against any state institution including Judiciary and the Armed Forces.

They added that TV channels could face hefty fines in case of any intentional/unintentional violation.

This directive came a day after the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) Sunday called upon the government to revoke the 'black laws' gagging media freedom in the country and also asked it to ensure the complete freedom of the PEMRA.

The body said that the government should start a meaningful dialogue with the media stakeholders. These demands were adopted at the concluding session of its three-day meeting, the Dawn newspaper reported.

The issues included government-media relationships, violence against the journalists and deteriorating working conditions in the media due to the non-implementation of labour laws and the 8th Wage Award.


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First published: 17 May 2022, 9:30 IST