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October 26, 2017

If so pious, TV anchors should declare 10-year income tax, assets: Absar

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October 26, 2017

SARGODHA: Pemra Chairman Absar Alam on Wednesday said professional standards were diminishing in electronic media, adding that some TV anchors believed that they could utter anything and were above the law.

These people think that apologising for a mistake will damage their honour, Absar said at Sargodha Press Club. He said no one could be allowed to distribute traitor and kafir certificates. Hefty fine was imposed on 137 programmes with show-cause notices issued to another 221 and 11 TV channels shut during the last two years for violating law, he added.

The Pemra chairman said 800 cases were pending with different courts, adding that stay orders were obtained from court whenever the regulatory body took action. He noted that foul language was being used in some programmes which could not be watched in company with family. “I would say we are digging our own grave.”

Absar stressed the need for speaking truth instead of lying and said the TV anchors should declare their income tax returns and assets for the last 10 years, if they were so much honest and pious. But he made it clear that he wasn’t targeting all TV channels and was mentioning only those people who were destroying media after joining the industry.

Separately, Absar, addressing the concluding session of a national debate organised by the University of Sargodha’s Mass Communication Department, said media and anchor persons must follow the Pemra regulations to prove that they were part of a civilised society.

He said Pemra did not want to curb freedom of expression but electronic media would have to improve its programming. Absar said Pemra could not rectify everything immediately. Suggestions had been presented to, but legislation was Parliament’s job, he stressed. Media was independent in Pakistan but not responsible, remarked the Pemra chairman.

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