Pemra slaps Rs1 million fine on Channel 92 for 'maligning' SAPM Zulfi Bukhari

Published February 1, 2020
Bukhari says he was portrayed as a traitor in the programme Jawab Chahye, urges channel to apologise. — Twitter/File
Bukhari says he was portrayed as a traitor in the programme Jawab Chahye, urges channel to apologise. — Twitter/File

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has imposed a fine of Rs1 million on Channel 92 for "airing defamatory content" against Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Syed Zulfikar Bukhari in October last year.

The fine amounting to Rs1,000,000 has been imposed upon M/S Galaxy Broadcasting Network (Pvt.) Ltd., the owner of Channel 92, read a copy of the decision available with APP.

The authority noted that the media house violated clause 22 (1) of the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct, 2015, "by airing false allegations against Zulfikar Bukhari" in two separate programmes —Jawab Chahiye and News Report — aired on October 17 and 18, 2019, respectively.

Issuing censure for airing allegedly baseless and defamatory material against the SAPM "without any evidence and providing him an opportunity to defend", Pemra warned the channel and its anchorpersons of strict action against airing any such defamatory news programme against anybody in the future.

The decision to this effect was taken by Pemra on the recommendations of Islamabad's Council of Complaints (CoC), which heard the arguments of both parties during its 65th meeting held on January 2.

Pemra advised the channel to ensure compliance of the decision within seven days of issuance of the notification.

Bukhari appeared before the council in person along with his legal team while Usama Shamas, Aftab Bajwa and Sohail Bhatti represented the channel during the hearing.

The SAPM, in his complaint lodged with Pemra on October 29, contended that anchorperson Dr Danish did a "concocted and fabricated" show against him on Channel 92. He said that the programme was factually incorrect and based on lies.

"Pemra's decision has provided me a strong foundation to file a liable suit against Danish in Pakistan and the United Kingdom for my character assassination," Bukhari told APP on Saturday.

The SAPM said that the anchorperson "was wrong on everything in his one-hour talk show" and shared incorrect information with his viewers.

He further said that he was "portrayed as a traitor" by questioning his loyalty to Pakistan and was compared to former Pakistan ambassador to US Husain Haqqani.

Urging the channel and anchorperson to tender a public apology, Bukhari said such accusations had damaged his reputation.

Opinion

Back to governance

Back to governance

While PDM has continued efforts to mount political pressure, it has been unable to force a crisis to challenge the PTI government.
Inequality virus
25 Jan 2021

Inequality virus

An Oxfam report calls for radical changes to the economic system.

Editorial

Updated 25 Jan 2021

Where the buck stops

The rights to due process and security of person are accorded to every individual in this country.
25 Jan 2021

PPP’s plan?

THE PDM faces a fresh crisis as the PPP takes a conspicuously soft position on the long march. While the PDM talks ...
25 Jan 2021

Forward guidance

THE State Bank has taken the unusual step of issuing a forward guidance in its latest monetary policy statement to...
Updated 24 Jan 2021

Delayed olive branch

THE PTI government has finally mustered up sufficient political prudence to extend an olive branch to the opposition...
24 Jan 2021

Bureaucracy reform

WHILE the intention behind the endeavour may be lauded, the civil service reform package unveiled by the government...
24 Jan 2021

Minority rights

ON Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution to safeguard religious sites around the world,...