PEMRA to fine BOL News for defaming Geo News

PEMRA to fine BOL News for defaming Geo News

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (Pemra) council of complaints has recommended imposition of fine on BOL News for “defaming” Geo News and its owner Mir Shakilur Rehman.

The council, at a meeting in Karachi on Friday, also recommended that BOL News be asked to appoint an in-house editorial committee to ensure compliance with Pemra’s rules and regulations.

The council of complaints (CoC) made the recommendations after reviewing complaints filed by Geo TV group director Hassan Mustafa, anchors Talat Hussain and Shahzaib Khanzada, and Mir Ibrahim Rahman, chief executive officer of Geo TV network. The Pemra body called for collecting fines of Rs 200,000 and Rs 100,000 from Bol News within 15 days.

Hassan Mustafa, in his complaints filed on behalf of Mir Shakilur Rehman, had accused BOL News of broadcasting “life-threatening and defamatory hate speech” against Mir Shakil, Mir Ibrahim and Geo News. The channel had called Mir Shakil ghaddar-i-watan (traitor) and blackmailer, the complainant said.

Mr Mustafa also filed separate complaints that in Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga, a programme aired by BOL News, anchor Aamir Liaquat ran an organised “defamatory hate campaign” against Geo network and its employees.

“The channel (BOL) violated the internationally-established principles of reporting and journalism,” the council observed. On a complaint brought by Danyal Gilani, an official of PIA’s public affairs department, accusing ARY News of defaming a former lady officer in its programme 11th Hour, the CoC asked the management of the channel to refrain from airing one-sided stories.

The council disposed of a complaint by Hasan Riaz against Sach TV for allegedly threatening the complainant, and forcibly collecting a cheque for Rs 634,000, without recommending any action as the channel said it had sacked the person named in the complaint. Two show cause notices were issued to World Call Cable for blocking transmission of Geo channels and placing the channel at back numbers.

A fine of Rs1 million was also recommended against World Call Cable for hindering the work of Pemra staff.

The meeting was chaired by Prof Mohammad Inam Bari, chairperson of Karachi CoC.