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ARY CEO announces BOL TV takeover

Updated August 18, 2015
Salman Iqbal said management aims to clear the pending salaries and unpaid dues of BOL employees. —AFP/File
Salman Iqbal said management aims to clear the pending salaries and unpaid dues of BOL employees. —AFP/File

KARACHI: In a startling development, ARY Digital Network Founder and Chief Executive Officer Salman Iqbal announced the media group has taken over the BOL media network.

According to BOL's website, it is a complete media enterprise consisting of platforms including television, digital media, print media, cinemas & movies, theater and radio.

Speaking today at a ceremony arranged at the BOL TV office, Iqbal said the upcoming channel will start its broadcast in three weeks.

The ARY CEO further said that clearing the pending salaries and unpaid dues of BOL employees would be a key priority. He also vowed to keep the remuneration packages offered to BOL employees as promised.

“The driving force behind this decision was our mission to try and ease the difficulties faced by media persons,” said Iqbal.

He said, “I have created Pakistan’s largest TV channel – so I thought why not take that dream to BOL.”

We are not here to start any confrontation, our reasons are purely aimed to benefit the journalistic community, said Iqbal. “We have always fought for the betterment of journalists.”

ARY Digital Network CEO Jerjees Seja also confirmed on Twitter that ARY has taken over the BOL Network.

Know more: Bol TV asked to wait for clearance of Axact

Earlier, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) had ordered the management of Bol Television in May to stop their transmission until the directors of their parent company Axact were exonerated from charges of fraud and money laundering.

Axact’s directors are currently facing charges in the wake of a massive fake degree scandal, which was exposed by The New York Times.

The information ministry had issued directions to Pemra to stop the transmission of Bol TV.

Editorial: Bad decision by Pemra

The letter, titled ‘Policy advice under Section 5 of the Pemra Act 2007’, directed the authority to “ensure stoppage of transmission of Bol channel through any distribution network for the time being (sic).”

Senior journalists associated with Bol Network — the sister organisation of Axact — had announced their resignations from the company just days after the explosive NYT story raised questions about Axact's involvement in a fake degree scam.

A detailed NYT report titled "Fake Diplomas, Real Cash: Pakistani Company Axact Reaps Millions" had outlined how Axact — referred to as a "secretive Pakistani software company" — allegedly earned millions of dollars from scams involving fake degrees, non-existent online universities and manipulation of customers.