- PEMRA directs any content against institutions should not be aired.
- Body says despite repeated directives TV channels continue to violate them.
- It warns of taking action against those violating directives.
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Monday warned TV channels, directing them to refrain from telecasting any content against the state institutions.
The regulatory body directed that any content either recorded or produced under the channels’ banner or aired during a live speech or a press talk against institutions should not be aired.
PEMRA, in its statement, said that despite repeated directives, TV channels continue to violate them.
“There remains no ambiguity in our minds with regards to the laxity of the licensees in ensuring compliance with the Code of Conduct and of PEMRA as a regulatory authority in penalising licensees on account of any violations of the Code of Conduct,” read the statement.
“If voluntary violations of the Code of Conduct or even negligence by the licensees to ensure adherence thereto is not penalised by PEMRA, the Code of Conduct will be reduced to a mere paper tiger and be rendered absolutely redundant. We, therefore, issue a writ of mandamus to PEMRA to ensure that the following parameters laid down in the law and the Code of Conduct are adhered to in letter and spirit and that no violations thereof shall be tolerated by PEMRA.”
- The Code of Conduct ensures that the freedom of speech and the right to information (Articles 19 and 19A of the Constitution) are protected, and at the same time provides that the discussion of sub-judice matters must be conducted in a manner which does not negatively affect another person’s fundamental right to be dealt with in accordance with the law (Article 4 of the Constitution) and the right to a fair trial and due process (Article 10A of the Constitution).
- All licensees should be sent a notice/reminder of their basic ethics and objectives, standards and obligations under the Code of Conduct, particularly Clause 4(10) thereof, in that, editorial oversight should be observed prior to the airing of all programmes and any programme, the subject or content of which is found or deemed to be in violation of the Code of Conduct in its true letter and spirit, should not be aired by the licensee;
- Any discussion on a matter which is sub judice may be aired but only to the extent that it is to provide information to the public which is objective in nature and not subjective, and no content, including commentary, opinions or suggestions about the potential fate of such sub judice matter which tends to prejudice the determination by a court, tribunal, etc., shall be aired;
- While content based on extracts of court proceedings, police records and other sources are allowed to the extent that they are fair and correct, any news or discussions in programmes shall not be aired which are likely to jeopardise ongoing inquiries, investigations or trials;
- In compliance with Clause 5 of the Code of Conduct, all licensees should strictly ensure that an effective delaying mechanism is in place for broadcasting live programmes to ensure stern compliance with the Code of Conduct and Articles 4, 10A and 204 of the Constitution;
- In compliance with Clause 17 of the Code of Conduct, an impartial and competent in-house Monitoring Committee shall be formed by each licensee, with intimation to PEMRA which shall be duty bound to ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct;
- With regards to the Monitoring Committee, we direct that licensees include (for each of its meetings) at least one practising lawyer of at least 5 years or above practice, with an adequate understanding of the law to advise the licensee regarding any potential violations of the Code of Conduct by programmes to be aired in the future;
- In compliance with Clause 20 of the Code of Conduct, each licensee shall be required to hold regular training of its officers, employees, staff, anchors, representatives etc. with regards to ensure compliance with the Code of Conduct with the schedule and agenda of these regular training to be intimated to PEMRA through the Monitoring Committee;
- If any licensee is found to have violated or failed to observe the Code of Conduct in its true letter and spirit, particularly Clause 4 of thereof, and/or Articles 4, 10A and 204 of the Constitution, strict and immediate action should be taken against such a licensee in accordance with Section 33 of the Ordinance. The Supreme Court or any High Court retains the power to take cognizance of the matter and shall exercise its powers under Article 204 ibid where such Court is of the opinion that it is appropriate in the facts and circumstances of the case for it to do so;
The regulatory body further said that the Islamabad High Court (IHC) has also directed PEMRA to “ensure proper utilisation of the prescribed procedure regarding delay mechanism.”
It also observed that the TV channels telecast “unwarranted/objectionable views” without editorial control and utilising effective time delay mechanisms which could expunge undesirable statements maligning state institutions.
The body, in its statement, said that the rights given to the media are subject to reasonable restrictions in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution or any law.
It further added that the airing of hateful statements violates Article 19, directing the licensees to implement the Supreme Court of Pakistan order passed in Suo Moto Case No 28 of 2018.
The authority decided that the maximum time delay mechanism for live content is deployed, an editorial board or monitoring committee is constituted and.
The regulatory body also directed the licensees to stop live telecasts of content/programmes and should implement para 2 and 7, adding that action will be taken against those violating the directives.
Three education board chairmen, several officers sacked in Sindh
KARACHI: Sindh caretaker Chief Minister Justice (retd) Maqbool Baqir Thursday approved the removal of three chairmen of education boards and ordered the sacking of several officers, Geo News reported, citing notifications from the CM House.
The interim chief executive removed the chairpersons of the Board of Intermediate Karachi, Sindh Technical Board, and Larkana boards. He also ordered the sacking of secretaries and controller examinations of BIEK, Nawabshah, Mirpurkhas, Sukkur, and Larkana boards.
Moreover, Larkana, Sukkur, Nawabshah, and Board of Secondary Education Karachi’s audit officers were also removed from their posts.
The Sindh government has also sought permission from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to appoint new personnel to the now-vacant positions — as interim rulers need the body’s approval for hiring people.
In the letter addressed to the commission, the government has also said that in several education boards across the province, top posts are being operated on “stop-gap” arrangements and in order for these departments to function better, permanent appointments need to be made.
According to the notifications available with Geo News, Justice (retd) Baqir has removed BIEK Chairman Dr Prof Naseem Memon and appointed him as the Board of Intermediate & Secondary Education Larkana’s (BISEL) chairman — where he will serve till June 30, 2024.
Zaheeruddin Bhutto, interim controller of examination of BIEK, was removed from his post effective immediately, while BIEK Secretary Kashif Siddiqui was also sacked — and he will return to his previous position.
Zahid Lakho, the audit officer of BIEK, was also stripped of his additional charge of the board’s secretary.
BISEL Chairman Sikandar Ali Miraj has also been removed with immediate effect, and he will be returning to his original post of Inspector of Instruction.
BISEL Controller Examination Nadeem Soomro has been removed from his position and directed to report to the Human Settlement and Social Housing Department.
On the instructions of the caretaker CM, Syed Aqash Shah was relieved of the charge of BISEL’s acting secretary.
Hyderabad board’s secretary Shaukat Khanzada was also removed from his post and directed to report to the college education department. Zahiruddin Sheikh, the audit officer of the Hyderabad board, has been sacked and asked to report to the board’s head office.
Ghulam Mustafa was removed from the post of BISEL’s audit officer and directed to report to the post of deputy controller.
Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Sukkur (BISES) Secretary Mohammad Salman has been removed and asked to report to the deputy secretary’s office. BISES Controller Examination Dr Abdul Fateh Mehr has been removed and asked to report to the secretary’s office.
The caretaker chief minister has also removed Ghulam Qadir Dharijo, the audit officer of BISES, and directed him to report to the chairman’s office.
Punjab to shut down school, colleges in Punjab’s smog-hit areas on Friday, Saturday
- Lahore, Gujranwala among cities hit by smog.
- Markets and restaurants to open for work at 3pm on Fri and Sat.
- Govt offices to remain open on Fri; will start work at 3pm on Sat.
LAHORE: All schools, colleges and universities will remain closed on Friday and Saturday, as Punjab on Thursday notified measures to curb smog across the province as it impacts the daily life of citizens.
Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Naqvi, who chaired a high-level meeting of the Punjab Cabinet Anti-Smog Committee today, announced the provincial government’s decision during a presser in Lahore.
The smog-hit cities include Lahore, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Kasur, Sheikupura, Hafizabad, Narowal, Nankana Sahib and Sialkot.
Markets and restaurants, he added, will open for work at 3pm on Friday and Saturday, while all kinds of businesses will have to be closed on Sunday.
“Markets can remain open till night. We don’t want anyone to suffer loss, but they will have to adjust according to the situation.”
CM Punjab said offices will remain operational on Friday but will open for work at 3pm on Saturday. These measures, the chief minister added, are being taken as Air Quality Index (AQI) levels are higher in the morning and decrease with time.
The government will also install towers to clear smog in Lahore for which, CM Punjab said, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed.
He added that the government will also provide electric bikes to 10,000 students on subsidy to curb the use of regular motorcycles which cause air pollution for which a committee has been formed to finalise suggestions. Meanwhile, government employees will also be provided e-bikes on lease.
CM Punjab said the government is considering measures for artificial rain if clouds approach Lahore on November 29.
However, that will only happen if a “specific kind of cloud” moves towards the city. The government has also decided to double the amount of water being sprinkled on the streets.
The chief minister said the main Mall Road on Sunday will only be open for bicycle users from morning till 5pm. Some of the measures, CM Naqvi said, have been taken symbolically, some are long-term, while others have been taken to break the peak of pollution in the city and province.
He also urged people to wear masks to protect their health.
Govt set to remove Islamabad IG, DC on ECP orders
- Govt says there’ll be no delay in expediting matter.
- ECP directed govt to remove IG, DC from posts.
- Khan was appointed as IG Islamabad by PDM govt.
ISLAMABAD: The federal government has decided to remove Islamabad Inspector General Police (IGP) Dr Akbar Nasir Khan and Deputy Commissioner Irfan Nawaz Memon from their posts following orders from the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), The News reported on Wednesday.
The government also maintained that there would be no further delay in the matter. Dr Khan is a grade 20 officer, while Memon is serving at grade 19 in the Pakistan Administrative Service.
The government had earlier not promptly implemented the orders, despite the ECP’s directive on October 26, conveyed to the Secretary Establishment Division, urging the removal of both officials.
In a letter sent by the Election Commission to the Establishment Division, it was directed to remove the IG and the deputy commissioner from their posts, but the instructions were not implemented by the federal government.
But now there has been progress in this regard and the Ministry of Interior has written a letter to the Establishment Division to change them.
Dr Akbar Nasir Khan was appointed as the police chief of the capital city by the Shehbaz Sharif government on May 21, 2022. He was serving in the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) then.
In October last year, the IG Islamabad was embroiled in a graft issue after the Anti-Corruption Establishment Punjab registered a case against him.
ACE Punjab summoned him multiple times, seeking a reply on corruption charges, accusing him of tampering with documents to award contracts and causing Rs30.5 million loss to the government. However, the IG Islamabad did not respond to the notices.
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