Pakistan’s electronic media regulator - Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) – has issued showcause notice on Friday to ARY News channel over comments on a statement by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, on Friday.
Pemra took exception to remarks made by Shahid Latif, a guest on an ARY News program, that termed a recent statement by the prime minister blasphemous, reports the English daily Dawn.
Latif’s remarks were made during ‘The Reporters’ program on Thursday (March 23).
“The hosts of the program did not intervene on this occasion nor stopped him from passing such comments, which is a violation of Pemra rules,” the authority said in a press release.
The press release added: “This has been conveyed to the TV channel that airing any offensive, provocative or derogatory remarks falls in clear violation of clause 20 (f) of PEMRA Act 2007, rule 15(1) of 2009 and various sections and clauses of the PEMRA Code of Conduct 2015.”
ARY News has been directed by the regulator to submit its reply by March 31 and explain why action should not be taken against it for airing “hate speech”.
Pemra pointed out that if the channel was found guilty, the action against it could include banning of ‘The Reporters’, cancellation of ARY’s operating licence and a fine of Rs1 million.
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