The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Wednesday revoked the satellite television licences granted to Bol News and Bol Entertainment (Pak News) for failing to secure security clearance for its directors from the interior ministry.

A press release issued by the regulatory authority said its decision comes after the interior ministry denied clearance to four directors — Shoaib Shaikh, Ayesha Shoaib Shaikh, Viqas Atiq and Sarwat Bashir — of Labbaik (Pvt) Ltd, which owns the Bol News channel.

"Bol News and Bol Entertainment (Pak News) have been ordered to surrender the original licences and clear all outstanding dues," the press release said.

Pemra took the decision to suspend Bol's licences in a meeting chaired by Pemra Chairman Absar Alam at its headquarters on Tuesday, in light of recommendations put forward by the Council of Complaints (CoC) Sindh. The council had given its opinion after hearing Bol News on the matter, the handout said.

The authority has instructed PakSat, a satellite telecommunications company, to "immediately" stop the transmission of Bol News and Bol Entertainment (Pak News), which no longer hold Pemra licences. All distribution networks and cable operators have also been asked to take the two channels off air.

Pemra said it would act against those found in violation of the order according to the law.

The Sindh High Court had last year ordered restoration of Bol News' licence while putting in abeyance the operation of an order issued by Pemra to suspend the channel’s licence.

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