Pemra slammed for imposing 45-day ban on ARY News program ‘Live with Dr. Shahid Masood’
The Pemra stated in its order that the ban was imposed on programme as it reportedly aired allegations on Sindh High Court chief justice in one of the episodes.
ARY counsel in the case, Advocate Moinuddin, said it looked as if the decision of Pemra was taken in haste and “it may have some malafide intent’.
The hearing of the case was conducted by Pemra’s council of complaint in Karachi.
Mr. Moinuddin was of the view that Pemra didn’t consider our adjournment plea and imposed the ban on programme without issuing any complaint.
“We could have gone to Islamabad to plead our case, but that chance was not provided to us.”
The advocate expressed surprise that the order issued by Pemra didn’t contain signatures of the authority rather it was endorsed by the council of complaint.
Senior anchor Dr. Shahid Masood said: “What anyone could do if the government misconstrued his statement in the program.”
He said government must tell what actually was objectionable in the programme that stirred up the hornet’s nest.
Masood vowed to adopt every legal way against this ban. He rejected Pemra’s allegation and said he would approach court for justice.
Ban draws widespread condemnation
Political leaders have taken exception to Pemra for banning the programme without any prior warning of intimation.
Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority was no more a disinterested and apolitical institution. He blamed that chairman of PEMRA was a worker for Pakistan Muslim League-N.
“PEMRA has become a weapon of PML-N to take action against its oppositions. The biggest fault of Shahid Masood is that he does not praise Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Since he criticizes N-League so it had be done by the PML-N worker holding seat in PEMRA,” he said.
PEMRA has become weapon against opposition… by arynews
He said PEMRA did not take any action at the time when disinformation was being spread through media about his marriage and misappropriation of funds by him.
Pakistan Awami Tehreek Chief Tahir-ul-Qadri said ban on ARY News program was equal to stifling the journalism. He said PEMRA was a reflection of Sharif brothers’ political dictatorship.
“Dr Shahid Masood has always spoken about interest of national institutions.”
Pakistan People’s Party leader Sharmila Farooqui said it was an extreme step from Pemra to take against a TV channel. She said such precedents are never welcome in democracy.
Awami Muslim League leader Shaikh Rasheed said the incumbent government had no idea how big mistake they have committed. The government should be ashamed of it.
Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak demanded from PEMRA to withdraw the ban.
Senior PTI leader Naeem-ul-Haq termed the ban as unjustified.
Raza Haroon of Pak Sarzameen Party, Shahi Syed on Awami National Party and Khurram Nawaz Gandaput of Pakistan Awami Tehreek have also taken exception to the Pemra order.
They said the ban was sheer gag on freedom of speech and called it a reflection of biased standards from the TV regulatory authority.
On the other hand, journalist community have also expressed reservation over this decision. Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists has called a meeting over this issue.