ISLAMABAD: As the interior ministry has turned down the security clearance of directors of Labbaik Pvt Ltd, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has cancelled the satellite TV licences of Bol News and Bol Entertainment.
The interior ministry refused security clearance of the company’s directors Shoaib A. Shaikh, Ayesha Shoaib Sheikh, Viqas Atiq and Sarwat Bashir, and the decision was conveyed to Pemra.
A recent meeting, presided over by Pemra Chairman Absar Alam, took up the issue and made the decision in the light of the recommendations by the Council of Complaints, Sindh. The council had rendered its opinion after hearing the channel.
Pemra has directed Bol News and Bol Entertainment (Pak News) to surrender the original licences and clear all the outstanding dues.
The regulator has also issued instructions to PakSat, other distribution networks and cable operators to stop transmission of Bol News and Bol Entertainment (Pak News).
The meeting was attended by member Sindh, Sarfaraz Khan Jatoi, member KP, Shaheen Habibullah, member Punjab, Nargis Nasir, Information Secretary Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Chairman Dr Syed Ismail Shah.
The Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) expressed “satisfaction” over the decision by Pemra to revoke the licences of Bol TV being run by “crime proceeds,” said a statement on Wednesday.
“The PBA was shocked at the revelation that the proceeds of crime were being channelled to launch and finance media channels to buy influence and blackmail anyone who threatens to expose this criminal scam,” it said. “Hence the PBA decided to get involved to protect the integrity and sanctity of the media industry which is regarded as the fourth pillar of the state.”
The statement recalled the PBA move when it approached the Islamabad High Court for revocation of licences of Axact-backed channels and had since been “fighting” to prevent entry of “criminal money” into Pakistan media industry.
“Finally, today, on behalf of all electronic media industry of Pakistan, the PBA expresses satisfaction over the step finally taken by Pemra to revoke the licences being held by individuals who supervised fraud and extortion on an international scale,” the PBA statement said.
Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2017