ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Thursday banned the broadcast of speeches, interviews and public addresses by absconders and proclaimed offenders.
The development came a few hours after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif slammed the government in his second address to the PML-N’s central working committee meeting, which was aired on numerous news channels in Pakistan.
"A self-explanatory complaint received from Muhammad Azhar Siddique against the several news channels in particular who aired the interview/speech/ public addresses of an absconder or a proclaimed offender," read the Pemra notice, according to Geo News.
PEMRA said that it was found upon investigating the complaint that news channelswere violating the earlier directive of the Authority which had been issued on May 27, 2019 on proclaimed offenders.
The notification reminded news channels that they were bound to comply with Pemra laws as well as parameters laid down in PLD 2019 Supreme Coun 1 and PLD 2016 Karachi 238. A copy of the provisions of the ordinance was attached with the notification:
"Clause 4(10) of the Code of Conduct is very important because by discussing and reviewing the contents of a programme prior to the time it is aired or recorded, the licensee can ensure that the contents of such programme conform to the code of conduct. Therefore, licensees can make certain that programmes on sub judice matters are aired in an informative manner and are handled objectively [Clause 4(3)absconders."
Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz strongly reacted to Nawaz Sharif’s speech and alleged that it was a bid to incite people against the state institutions.
During his news conference, the minister said that a person, who had dodged the courts and fled the country, was now avenging Pakistan, which installed him premier thrice. He dared Nawaz to return and submit before the courts and also bring back his family as well as assets from abroad. He challenged the PML-N leader to answer just two questions: how did you build assets and how money was taken out of Pakistan?
The minister billed the speeches of the PML-N leader as provocative to the citizens, and said that it was up to them to decide whether such speeches could be shown or not. At one point, Shibli equated him with Altaf Hussain and called him Altaf II. The minister wondered how could the law be applied differently when the MQM leader’s speeches were not allowed inside, should Nawaz’s be permitted to pose himself as Mandela while speaking from London?
“What message are you sending by making speeches against these institutions? The same institutions that were with you were fine and now that you are not in power, these institutions have become bad. What message are you sending abroad? There is no difference between your speech and that of Altaf Hussain. It was just a slogan that you lacked. Otherwise his photocopy,” he retorted.
The minister pointed out that only a day earlier the court said that he (Nawaz) had broken the law and made fun of it. He said this was not stated by the PTI but by the esteemed judge. The minister added that a person, who believed in the rule of law could not do this.
On the allegation of rigging in the 2018 elections, Shibli said that when there was an objection to the election, a petition had to be filed in the Election Commission. “Why did Nawaz Sharif not file a petition in the Election Commission?”
He said that in the 2018 elections, half of the 287 poll petitions were filed by the PTI, “wherein we objected that our candidates should have won from 45 constituencies. In Punjab, PTI had 13 petitions and PML-N had 11 petitions. How was it rigged? They are making accusations to save themselves.”
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said that the speech of Nawaz Sharif was aimed at blackmailing institutions.
Talking to journalists, Fawad Chaudhry said that the PML-N supremo had hatched various conspiracies against the institutions during his tenure. He said that Nawaz Sharif wanted institutions fight with each other.
Fawad Chaudhry asked that why Nawaz kept silence for three years if he had been ordered to resign?
Fawad Chaudhry said that Nawaz Sharif was reluctant to return homeland but he wanted PML-N’s workers to take to the streets. The minister said the government was taking measures to bring Nawaz Sharif back to the country.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill said Nawaz Sharif was playing political gimmicks to build pressure on the incumbent government to get NRO.
Talking to a private news channel, he said Nawaz Sharif was consistently speaking lies as he had also claimed that he did not sign any agreement when he proceeded to Jeddah during the General Musharraf’s regime.
He said whenever anti-graft watchdog tightened the noose around Nawaz Sharif, he tried to react as a revolutionary leader.
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