Pemra issues show-cause notice to Channel 24

Published November 28, 2021
This file photo shows the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority headquarters in Islamabad. — Dawn
This file photo shows the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority headquarters in Islamabad. — Dawn

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has issued a show-cause notice to Channel 24 for allegedly airing hate speech, inciting violence and being offensive to commonly accepted standards of decency in the programme ‘Najam Sethi Show’.

The show-cause notice has been issued to the Central Media Network (Pvt.) Ltd — the parent company of Value TV and Channel 24 — for airing the programme on Nov 24.

Responding to the show-cause notice, senior journalist Najam Sethi tweeted the clip of the programme, explaining the debate within the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), and said the alliance was directionless and if at all it felt that the common man was devastated by the incumbent government, the opposition must protest aggressively.

Host of Najam Sethi Show accused of inciting violence

Mr Sethi uploaded another clip of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan setting fire to his electricity bill as part of his civil disobedience campaign against the PML-N government, and commented, “but that has been reported on mainstream media without any action from Pemra”.

He also tweeted a video clip of the current interior minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, delivering a fiery speech from the same stage. The show-cause notice said the host of Najam Sethi Show, while commenting on a call related to the PDM’s long march, passed highly objectionable remarks which were tantamount to inciting violence.

The electronic media regulator said the remarks were aired without any editorial control. The notice contains a list of violations made by the channel as a result of the remarks by Mr Sethi which includes violation of Section 20(e)&(f) of Pemra Ordinance, 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007, Rule 15(1) of Pemra Rules 2009, Regulation 18(1)(c), (g) of Pemra (Television Broadcast Station Operations) Regulations 2012 and Clauses 4 (7) (a) (b) (c), 4(10), 5, 17 & 24 of Electronic Media (Programmes and Adv­er­t­isements) Code of Conduct, 2015 read with Section 27 of Pemra Ordinance, 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007. The violations have also been explained in the show-cause notice.

Published in Dawn, November 28th, 2021

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