The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has issued a show cause
notice to ARY News channel over comments on a statement by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. The regulator took exception to remarks made by Shahid Latif, a guest on an ARY News programme, that termed a recent statement by Sharif blasphemous. Shahid Latif made the remarks during ‘The Reporters’ programme. Pemra said: “This is a very dangerous trend. The hosts of the programme did not intervene nor stopped him from
passing such comments, which is a violation of Pemra rules.” According to the statement, airing any offensive, p r o v o c a t i v e or derogatory remarks violate PEMRA Act 2007 and various sections and clauses of the PEMRA Code of Conduct 2015.
The ARY News was directed to submit its reply by March 31 and explain why action should not be taken against it for airing “hate speech”. Pemra said if the channel was found guilty, the regulator could ban ‘The Reporters’, cancel ARY’s operating licence and impose Rs 1 million fine. Pemra also issued show cause notices to nine TV channels — Ab Tak TV, Waqt TV, Channel 5, Sach TV, 7 News, Aaj TV, Roze TV, News One and Capital TV — for
airing “fake news” of a plane crash near Rawalpindi.
The presenters of ‘Zara Hut Kay’ discussed a reference against Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which is pending before the Supreme Judicial Council, in an episode aired on March 9.