Pemra bars media houses from covering JuD, other proscribed outfits

Published November 2, 2015
The directive issued by Pemra prohibits broadcasters from covering the activities of 72 different outlawed groups. —AP
The directive issued by Pemra prohibits broadcasters from covering the activities of 72 different outlawed groups. —AP

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) called on broadcasters to refrain from covering banned groups, including Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) and its offshoot Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation, as the government widens its crackdown against proscribed outfits in the country.

The order follows the introduction earlier this year of the National Action Plan (NAP) aimed at reining in militancy inside the country after Taliban gunmen massacred more than 150 people at a school in Peshawar in December, 2014.

The directive issued by Pemra on Monday prohibits broadcasters from covering the activities of 72 different outlawed groups, including Jamat-ud-Dawa, the charitable wing of the proscribed group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).

The LeT has been alleged for carrying out the attacks in the Indian financial capital of Mumbai in 2008 which killed 166 people.

“All satellite TV channels/FM radio licences are therefore strictly directed not to give any kind of coverage to any proscribed organisation including Jamat-ud-Dawa, Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation and Lashkar-e-Taiba,” Pemra said.

The Falah-i-Insaniat Foundation is tied to the JuD and has participated in flood and earthquake relief activities in recent years, including operations following last week's 7.5 magnitude earthquake that killed 272 people in the country.

The regulatory body said media organisations must refrain from broadcasting any advertisement calling for donations to banned organisations.

The directive also prohibits outlets from broadcasting any programme that could potentially incite violence or is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order.

Pemra added that non-compliance would invoke legal action that could result in fines or the potential termination of a broadcaster's licence.

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