No 'circus' or neelam ghar will be allowed to be broadcast on TV this Ramazan, Islamabad High Court (IHC) Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said on Tuesday while hearing a case concerning the implementation of the broadcast regulator's code of conduct for Ramazan transmissions and morning shows on television.

A Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) representative present for the hearing submitted the watchdog's guidelines for Ramazan transmissions and assured the court that all channels would have to abide by them.

Justice Siddiqui ordered that the airing of the Azan (call to prayer) five times a day must also be made mandatory for all channels. "There is no bigger breaking news for Muslims than the Azan," he said.

"Channels air dance, music and advertisements at Azan timings. PTV has also stopped airing Azan," he regretted. He warned that a ban would be imposed on Ramazan transmissions if this "circus" continued.

"If things are to continue this way, let's remove 'Islamic Republic' from Pakistan's name," he said.

The judge also remarked that it was the responsibility of the state to protect "Islamic identity and beliefs".

Upon inquiring, he was informed that the Pakistan Broadcasters Association's (PBA) counsel was on leave. "Let him know that no move [to circumvent the rules] will work this Ramazan," he said.

He then asked for a report on how many of the 117 channels operating in Pakistan air the call to prayer before adjourning the case till tomorrow.



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