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October 15, 2019
Latest Pakistan Top Stories

PEMRA orders Channel 24 to air apology for propagating’false news’ against Imran Khan

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority has ordered private news TV channel, 24 News and its anchor Najam Sethi to air unconditional and unqualified apology for what it said running false news against Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The regulatory body also ordered the channel to pay Rs1 million as fine and deposit the same with the authority within seven days.

However, a spokesman of the channel denounced the Pemra decision, saying that the channel was condemned unheard. It said that Pemra decided the complaint against the channel without hearing it.

The channel said that it stood by its news. The spokesman said that the Pemra’s decision would be challenged in the court.

Reacting to the Pemra’s decision, senior journalist and anchorperson Najam Sehti called upon all media and rights organisations at home and abroad to condemn the absurd censorship.

He said that they were condemned unheard and the complaint was decided unilaterally without hearing his point of view.

Sethi took to Twitter:  “I call upon all media and rights organisations at home and abroad to condemn this absurd censorship that condemns us unheard and demands an apology without even telling us what the charge is @CPJAsia @amnesty @RSF_AsiaPacific @HRCP87 @nayadaurpk @PakPressWatch.”

Sethi while tweeting Pemra’s decision asked the authority to point out as to which part of statement Imran had objected.

The Pemra press release issued by it  General Manager Media and PR Muhammad Tahir states: “Decision in pursuance of 59th meeting of Council of Complaints in the matter of complaint lodged by Imran Khan through M/s Babar Awan and Associates against Channel 24/Ms Central Media (Pvt) Ltd.

PEMRA, in pursuance to the recommendations of the Council of Complaints, Islamabad made in its 59th meeting dated April 24, 2019, in the matter of complaint lodged by Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan through Baber Awan against Channel 24, against the programme: ‘Najam Sethi Ke Sathi’ has decided in the term of Clause of the Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015, that:

  1. The channel and its anchor should air apology within seven days from the date of issuance of this order, during the prime time in the same programme, to its audience in the same magnitude as the allegations were aired, besides running text scroll to the same effect for propagating dale news about the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The apology, including that in audiovisual and text scroll, should clearly refer to in its subjective context without repeating the afore-noted news item.
  2. The channel is also directed to deposit a sum of rupees one million as fine in favour of PEMRA within seven days of the date of issuance of this order.
    • In case of failure to comply with the above orders either in partial or as a whole, the programme titled ‘Najam Sethi Ke Sath’ shall remain prohibited for a period of thirty days.
  1. If the channel fails to comply with the afore-stated directives, it will be construed that the channel is willfully defiant and subsequently the proceeding shall be initiated to suspend and / revoke the license.”