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Geo morning show draws sharp reaction, Pemra notice

Updated May 16, 2014

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— File photo
— File photo

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has served a show-cause notice on Geo Entertainment network for airing objectionable content in its morning show `Utho Jago Pakistan’ and sought immediate explanation from the channel.

The channel aired the programme on Wednesday morning and repeated it in the night.

According to Pemra, the show-cause notice was served as the channel had violated clauses (a), (i) & (p) of the Code of Conduct for TV networks contained in Schedule A of Pemra Rules 2009.

Clause `p’ says no programme can be aired that contains material which is against the ideology of Pakistan or Islamic values.

A spokesman for Pemra said more than 5,000 public complaints were received against the programme at Pemra’s call centre and website.

Meanwhile, the programme drew a bitter reaction from viewers and religious organisations. The Sunni Ittehad Council (SIC), along with former senator Faisal Raza Abidi, held an emotionally charged press conference here on Thursday at the National Press Club.

SIC Chairman Sahibzada Hamid Raza denounced the TV channel for hurting Muslims’ sentiments and declared that SIC would hold a protest in Karachi on Sunday.

On its part, Geo TV repeatedly aired tickers on behalf of Shaista Lodhi in which she apologised to those whose sentiments were hurt, while the management said: “An inquiry has been launched against ‘Utho Jago Pakistan’ over the inadvertent mistake on Wednesday’s show”.

Published in Dawn, May 16th, 2014