Pakistan Electronic Media Authority ( PEMRA), invites applications under section 19of the PEMRA ordinance 2002.
from the companies registered ( Registered under companies ordinance 1984) interested in establishing and operating commercial Satellite TV Broadcasting stations in Pakistan in following categories.
– Current Affairs
– Regional Language
Last Date to Apply: 31 October 2014
KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Wednesday observed that cable operators had no right to close the transmission of any channel on their own.
Hearing identical petitions filed by the Independent Media Corporation (IMC) against non-restoration of Geo News transmission after the lapse of the suspension order of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), the SHC’s division bench, headed by Justice Munib Akhtar, observed that this matter was not about mere closure of the transmission of any channel but an issue of the freedom of the Press and fundamental rights.
The court directed Pemra to ensure enforcement of rights relating to the freedom of the Press and expression as it was not a matter of restoration of Geo TV transmission but enforcement of the fundamental rights and implementation of the Constitution.
Petitioner’s counsel Jam Asif Mehmood submitted in the petitions that Pemra had ordered its regional managers to restore the transmission of Geo News on June 20 after the expiry of the suspension order imposed by the regulator on Geo TV on June 6.
He said that private cable operators did not comply with the orders of Pemra, and broadcast of the Geo News remained suspended till the filing of the petition. He submitted that blocking the transmission of the Geo News was a violation of the Supreme Court and High Court’s orders that restrained Pemra and cable operators from blocking or interfering in the smooth transmission of Geo News.
The counsel submitted that Pemra had failed to take action against the cable operators who despite the complaint of the petitioner and restoration order for transmission of Geo TV did not restore the transmission on its position as it was on April 19.
To a court query as to what action had been taken for restoration of Geo News transmission, which is the most popular news channel of the country, Pemra’s counsel Kashif Hanif submitted that the media regulator had started taking action by issuing show cause notices to cable operators who were not allowing transmission of the Geo channels or changing their numbers on their network. He sought time to file comments in the matter.
Counsel of the cable operators Amjad Bukhari submitted that the matter could be resolved on the basis of the Supreme Court orders in certain proceedings and sought time to file relevant record in this regard before the court. He submitted that cable operators were not bound under the Pemra Ordinance to telecast the transmission of any channel as per their choice. The court inquired the counsel of cable operators as to how 90 percent people could access to information when cable operators shut the transmission of any TV channel, observing that cable operators had no authority to close the transmission of any channel as per their wishes.
The court observed that the freedom of Press, as an expressed fundamental right, inheres not only in the Press but also in every citizen of the country with regard to right of citizens to be properly informed as regard matters that could be of public importance or interest, whether it is local, provincial or national level.
The court observed that Article 199 empowers the high court to give such direction as deems appropriate for the enforcement of the fundamental rights and such directions could be given not merely to the State but also to any other person as in view of High Court is necessary for such enforcement.
The court observed that the question of the fundamental right of the freedom of the Press, especially in digital and internet age and with regard to the modern mean of the communication which continue to rapidly develop and evolve, the matter could not be limited to or addressed in what might be regarded as traditional modes.
The court observed that courts can and should take into account the manner the news is disseminated in the present time and how this process will develop and evolve in the future. The court observed that it seems that now most Pakistanis, primarily or exclusively, rely on their access to TV channels, including news channels, through the network run by the cable operators, therefore, the right power or ability of such operators to give access to channels on their network may well engage or raise issues of the fundamental right of the freedom of the Press.
The court was of the view that issues raised in the Geo TV petitions may to that extent and in the sense even transcend the mere enforcement of statutory enforcements even if the statute in the question is the one that provides the regulatory framework that is Pemra Act and regulation framed thereunder. The court also issued a notice to the Attorney General of Pakistan as constitutional interpretation arises in the instant matter. The counsel of the petitioner sought early hearing of the petitions as the channel could bank default due to continuous closure of the Geo TV transmission.
The court directed the counsel of the respondents to file their respective comments so that matter could be proceeded and decided on the next date of hearing that was fixed on August 6.
President of Jang Publication Employees Union CBA Shakeel Yameen, Secretary of The News Employees Union CBA Naqeebur Rehman and reporter of the Geo TV Jawad Shoaib filed the application for becoming interveners in the petitions submitting that the cable operators be directed to restore the transmission of Geo TV as thousands of employees had been affected due to the closure of the transmission of Geo TV by the cable operators. However, the court observed that the counsel for the petitioner and respondents can assist the court on similar points. Therefore, no notices were being issued unless expressly permitted or directed by the court.
Cable operators, including Skyline Cable Network (Pvt) Ltd., Mohammad Hussain of Tracks Entertainment Cable TV Network, Kazim (Acting CEO) of Media Plus Cable TV Network, Syed Imran Haider Abidi of Home Vision-1 Communication, Gufran Mujtaba of City Communication, Akhlaq Ahmed of Karachi Cable Services Cable TV Network and Mehmood Ahmed of City Cable TV Communication Network, were named as respondents in the petitions.
Media Laws Review Task Force Finalized
ISLAMABAD: The National Assembly Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and Heritage on Monday finalised members’ names and terms of reference (ToRs) for Media Laws Review Task Force which would comprehensively review all existing laws, rules and regulations related to media at the federal, provincial and local levels.
It was decided during the 9th meeting of the committee, which was held in the Parliament House under the chair of committee Chairperson MNA Marvi Memon.
Under the ToRs, the task force would identify the needs, if any, for amendments, changes, etc in sections of media laws, rules, regulations including “definitions” and substantive provisions so as to accurately reflect contemporary realities and factors such as new technologies, and to propose specific amendments to existing laws, rules and regulations for consideration by the respective legislatures.
The task force would also draft the texts for new laws, rules and regulations in the light of contemporary conditions and emerging trends, and with reference to the recommendations of the media commission as unanimously endorsed by the national assembly standing committee on information, broadcasting and national heritage in its meeting on 16th April 2014.
The task force would also develop a monitoring framework for committee reference to have an oversight on the implementation of the existing and the amended laws rules regulations. The committee also empowered task force to add any other TORs after deliberations of the members of the task force with the approval of the committee.
The members of task force included leading lawyer of the country Babar Sattar, Barrister Salman Afridi, Rizwan Ejaz, Nawazish Peerzada, Faisal Siddiqi, Ayub Baloch, Yasmeen Aftab Ali and Aafia Salam. One member would be included later.
The committee also discussed recommendations on code of conduct of Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority (PEMRA). The acting director general of Pakistan National Council of Arts also gave a presentation on Pakistan Culture and Arts Foundation Relief Fund to the members of committee. The committee was satisfied with the presentation and briefing of the acting DG and directed secretary information to appoint a permanent DG of the council. The secretary assured the committee to appoint a permanent DG by the first of July.
The standing committee on information, broadcasting and heritage also reviewed the subcommittee on right to information’s recommendations on right to information bill. The members appreciated the work done by subcommittee and decided that its notes would be included in final report. The committee also proposed 14 amendments/recommendation to be included in government bill to make it a better law.
The committee decided to review the report of subcommittee headed by MNA Arifa Khalid Pervaiz regarding recommendations on code of conduct of PEMRA and further information on the authority in the next committee meeting.
ISLAMABAD: Mr Abbasi said the acting chairman had been flouting the court orders. However, Mr Pervez Rathor’s counsel asked the petitioner to explain what order of the court had been flouted by his client.
Justice Noorul Haq N. Qureshi of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday summoned Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) acting chairman Pervez Rathor in a contempt of court petition.
Justice Qureshi directed the official to appear before the court on June 30 along with the record and explain how he had been running the day-to-day affairs of the authority after status quo orders issued by the court on June 9.
At this, the court directed the acting Pemra chief to appear before the court along with the record and adjourned the hearing. The bench also adjourned all other Pemra-related cases till June 30.
The contempt of court application was filed by Israr Ahmed Abbasi and Fareeha Iftikhar, who are the private members of Pemra. The petitioners contended that the acting chairman was still functioning despite the court orders.
Pervez Rathor was the CCPO Lahore (Capital City Police Officer) before joining PEMRA.
Journalistic across the country staged protest demonstrations against suspension of ARY News license for 15 days and demanded the government to immediately withdraw the order.
Against order of banning ARY, President PFUJ Rana Azeem along with other journalists announced to launch ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ (court arrest movement) if suspension of ARY ban was not withdrawn by June 25. Under the movement, journalists would voluntarily surrender before police to protest the government’s decision.
Journalists, during different protest demonstrations, said the ban on ARY News was imposed on behest of PML-N government. They announced to continue protest until government revert its gag order against the ARY News.
Participants of the protest also chanted slogans against the Pemra for taking unilateral decision without giving ARY a chance to clarify its position.
Meanwhile, a delegation of journalists visited the ARY News office in Karachi. They formed an 8-member committee comprising senior journalists including S.M. Shakeel, Kashif Hussain, G.M. Jamali, Habib Khan Ghori, Tahir Najmi and Athar Hussain.
The delegation will contact different political parties against ban on ARY News.
Licenses of two private TV channels Geo Entertainment and ARY News are to be suspended
PEMRA, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority announced on Friday that the licenses of private TV channels Geo Entertainment and ARY News are to be suspended,various news sources reported.
Geo Entertainment has been slapped with a one month suspension along with a Rs10 million fine.
ARY News has been given a 15 day license suspension and a Rs10 million fine.
ARY News was handed the license suspension over complaints that it had made slanderous statements against the judiciary on one of its shows.
According to sources, PEMRA Suspends GEO Entertainment & ARY News License for 30 days & 15 days respectively.
Licensed goes off hence the unlicensed religious channels on
Media Commission report launched…Says electronic media faces vacuum; speakers say those celebrating damage to Jang Group can also face the same; journalists being deprived of their livelihood; citizens enjoy media rights; more professionalism, strengthened institutional framework required
According to Media Blinks; The launching of a report prepared by the Media Commission appointed by the Supreme Court on reforms in media sector was held on Tuesday at a local hotel.
Former federal information minister Javed Jabbar and notable personalities including IA Rehman, Dr Mughees-ud-Din Sheikh, Dr Nosheena Saleem, Yasmeen Aftab, Salman Abid and Sidra Saeed participated in the programme.
Jabbar – a member of the Media Commission – said it was a cause of serious concern that the religious TV channels operating without licence were functional but those with licences were being shut.
He strongly criticised blacking out the Geo TV Network transmission by using the cable operators and described the attacks on the Jang Group vehicles as shameless acts. He said those celebrating the damage being done to Geo/Jang Group must not forget that they could also face the same treatment.
Jabbar also said that the ongoing crisis and infighting between different media houses had weakened media.
Talking about the report, he said the commission’s formation in January 2013 was based on the nine terms of reference (ToRs) given by Supreme Court. The commission worked in two parts. The first comprised recommendations related to the media’s role in elections while the second covered comprehensive reforms required in the institutional aspects of media.
He said these needed collective action by the Parliament, media, advertisers, regulatory bodies, civil society and all other stakeholders. Citizens’ feedback based on the recommendations was tabulated and included in the publication.
While talking about the recommendations, Jabbar mentioned that the electronic media faced a vacuum in authentic public service broadcasting. The role of advertisers in the media sector was highly negative while influencing its quality. The media owners must understand that citizens also had their media rights, he added.
According to Jabbar, news bulletins with film songs, jokes are getting worse. In the name of ‘infotainment’, the sanctity of news has been breached in the Pakistani media. There is also a need that each media house should have its own ombudsperson.
For reform in the legislative aspects of media it is recommended by the commission that a “media law review task force” be formed. The self-regulation of media is also important to be considered, for which a law is required to define self-regulation.
Jabbar mentioned that the responsibility of implementing the recommendations collectively rested on the government, Parliament, civil society, advertisers and any other regulatory and related body.
Sidra Saeed said it was in the interest of media to be more professional and independent. In the context of further consolidating democracy, the focus should lie on strengthening the institutional framework for media policy.
IA Rehman said the role of state was already explicit and the media regulatory body was already under the influence of such state-driven institutions. However, he said, the report was a starting point to initiate a discourse on free and fair media.
He described the present crisis as the worst period for journalism and said attempts were being made to deprive the journalists of their livelihood. They were being deprived of their rights, as media was facing curbs.
He questioned how the religious channels were being run without any advertisements.
He said for monitoring purposes, media and legal institutional mechanisms should be independent and strengthened.
Dr Mughees emphasised the role of state and government institutions to monitor the media institutions and their content to ensure transparency, both at internal and external level. He also said there was a need for a communication policy and to link it with cultural policy. The role of media organisation was more responsible and accountable for internal media incidents.
Yasmeen Aftab appreciated the recommendations and said Pakistani media had a glorious history. The media-based laws had opened the door to better regulations. But there were no regulatory mechanisms to regulate the media laws and as a result of which quality of work had been affected creating a lot of resentment among the viewers.
According to Yasmeen, most of the media owners follow a business-based approach. Collective response to the recommendations is the need of the hour.
Dr Nosheena Salim highlighted the importance of recommendation with respect to media freedom, safety of journalists and freedom of expression. She said the responsibility rested with media sector and government to adopt the recommendations.
Salman Abid in the light of these recommendations called for a national debate on the reforms and said the discourse should continue towards more transparent democratic practices. He also emphasised that media literacy should be promoted to make people understand freedom of expression and the concept of a just society.
Pemra summons TV channel in contempt of court case
ISLAMABAD: The media watchdog Pemra has summoned the ARY TV administration in contempt of court case on June 3.Former Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and the judiciary were made target of contempt in an AYR programme.
According to the complainant, Chaudhry Akram Advocate, the Pemra has summoned him and the ARY TV administration on June 3 in contempt of court case. Notices to this effect have been issued to both the parties.
According to the complainant, Pemra Legal Department in charge Zahid Malik on May 21 said during hearing that they will summon the ARY TV administration, owners and anchor Mubashar Luqman on the recommendation of Council of Complaints. The ARY TV on May 6 made the former chief justice, the judiciary and judicial verdicts target of contempt during a programme.
Former vice president of Islamabad High Court Bar Association Chaudhry Akram pleaded with Islamabad High Court to cancel the licence of ARY TV for contempt of court.He contended that Mubashar Luqman on May 6 disrespected the former chief justice and tried to fan hatred among the masses against the judicial system.
He pleaded with the court to stop this practice, as it was dangerous for an independent judiciary. He said the Information Ministry and Pemra had taken no action against the ARY.Justice Shaukat Siddiqui of IHC converted his application into a complaint and sent it to the authority. He ordered that the matter be probed and action be taken against those responsible.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has taken notice of blasphemous content which was aired by Geo in Morning Show, Four Channels including ARY News, Abtak News, Dunya TV and Express News are the channels who were showing that content.
According to PEMRA officials an explanation over the programme has been summoned on an immediate basis. PEMRA has directed that programmes with objectionable content and those against the judiciary should not be broadcast. A notice has been issue to Ab Tak, Express and Dunyaa newsand ARY channels for airing a objectionable programmes.
The order was rapidly disowned by PEMRA in a press release that said it was issued following a meeting yesterday of only five PEMRA members that did not comply with Rule 3(4) of PEMRA Rules 2009, under which at least seven of PEMRA’s 12 members must attend a meeting for it to be validly convened.
Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the order issued yesterday by three members of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) closing three Geo Television channels – Geo News, Geo Tez and Geo Entertainment – and cancelling their licences.
The release added that the decision that PEMRA took at an earlier, valid meeting on 9 May to “refer the [Geo Television] case to the Ministry of Law for legal opinion” was therefore still in effect.
The case was referred to PEMRA last month by defence minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif, who was seeking legal redress against Geo News for reporting allegations that Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were behind a shooting attack on Geo News anchor Hamid Mir in Karachi on 19 April.
“The hasty decision by three PEMRA members that was immediately disowned is indicative of a desire by certain government representatives to use any means, including illegal ones, to ban Geo News from broadcasting,” said Benjamin Ismaïl, the head of the head of the Reporters Without Borders Asia-Pacific desk.
“We urge PEMRA not to yield to pressure from the intelligence agencies and the defence ministry, and to ensure that the law protects freedom of information.”
Mir has been the target of repeated threats, intimidation and prosecution as a result of his coverage of the activities of Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan’s leading intelligence agency, in the southwestern province of Baluchistan.
He shared his fears with Reporters Without Borders and his brother, Amir Mir, saying that if he was the target of any attack, “the ISI and its chief, Lt. Gen. Zaheerul Islam, should be held responsible.”
After Mir’s brother repeated Mir’s statements on Geo News in the wake of the 19 April attack, the TV station was accused of broadcasting unpatriotic accusations and was the target of smear campaign in the following weeks.
The climate for employees of the Jang/Geo media group has deteriorated dramatically, with journalists working for Geo News and the newspaper Jang receiving repeated threats, including death threats.
A note left at the Jang printing press on 5 May accused Jang and Geo News employees of being “anti-Pakistan, anti-Islam, anti-Army” and threatened Jang with “serious consequences” if it did not close its Peshawar offices. Employees were also told to “quit and leave the traitor group immediately.”
The Sunni Ittehad Council, an Islamic political party, announced on 15 May that it regarded Geo News as “haram” (forbidden) and called for its prohibition for broadcasting “blasphemous” content.
Pakistan is ranked 158th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has suspended the licenses of Geo News, Geo Taiz and Geo Entertainment on immediate basis, while countrywide offices of these channels are also ordered to be sealed – ARY News reports.
According to details, the meeting of PEMRA members held today on Geo issue, which concluded after a while ago.
Talking to media after the meeting, PEMRA member, Mian Shams ur Rahman formally announced to suspend the licenses of Geo News, Geo Taiz and Geo Entertainment. PEMRA body also ordered for sealing the offices of these channels all over the country.
Mian Shams also said that Mir Shakil ur Rehman tried to lure PEMRA members and also telephoned him, which wasn’t responded.
Israr Abbasi said that quorum of PEMRA body requires one-third majority of the members, and the members present at the meeting unanimously decided to suspend the licenses.
He told that PEMRA has also written to the Ministry of Interior for security clearance of 4 licenses of Geo TV Network.
Israr told that the licenses of above mentioned channels were suspended for acting and building public perception against national interests, after acquiring funds from foreign countries and the decision was made under the light of numerous recommendations.
It was further stated that a detailed and final verdict shall be issued on May 28.
Geo TV apologised on Mistake by Dr Shaista
Geo has launched an inquiry against ‘Utho Jago Pakistan’ over the inadvertent mistake on Wednesday’s show and has suspended the program team for indefinite period of time.
Earlier, Dr Shaista Lodhi, the host of the famous morning show “Utho Jago Pakistan”, apologized over the unintended mistake in the program that caused an uproar in various sections of the society.
According to her statement aired today, the remorseful host said that she along with the entire team feels sorry and tenders an apology for the circumstances that were triggered unintentionally due to the content of the program broadcast yesterday.
Dr Shaista said that she seeks forgiveness from the Almighty Allah over an unintended gaffe that hurt the sentiments of the people.
Allama Nazir Abbas Taqvi said there was no point in issuing fatwas if Geo was ready to apologise on the matter. Urging the critics to avoid negativity, he said some forces wanted to use the incident to trigger a sectarian strife in the country.
Allama Kaukab Noorani Okarvi described it as a serious mistake but praised the swift remedial action and an immediate apology by the anchorperson and the channel. He said there was no justification for using the issue as a propaganda tool to malign the organization.
Allama Razi Jafar, speaking to Geo, said that utmost care should have been taken while conducting the programme. However, he added, spreading an evil is in itself an evil, and other channels should also take care of it.
He praised the host for seeking an apology and said other TV channels must avoid blowing the matter out of proportion as the Quran says that spreading evil is equally evil.
PEMRA received 64904 online Complaints for Geo Network in Month of April
On he official Website of Pakistan Electronic Media Regularity Authority ( PEMRA ) where viewers are allowed to submit there complaints, There was a huge number of complaints against Geo Network in Month of April, Most of the complaints were launched after the attack on Hamid Mir when Geo Network started to Highlight issue of Attack on Journalist Hamid Mr and nominate chief of ISI. According to data on Pemra’s official Website in April the complaints against Geo Network’s mentioned below.
TV Channel Complaints
Geo Ent. 9142
Geo Kahani 9008
Geo News 27014
Geo Super 8930
GEO Tez 10828
The Best part for this situation is that Complaints / Suggestions Drop Box of Pemra’s Online portal there are huge number of complaints against Geo are submitted under other channels also.
ACTION TAKEN ON COMPLAINTS:
Out of the total complaints received, only 24 complaints were rectified or addressed.
Sources in PEMRA said that ‘rectified’ means that these complaints were either forwarded to the prosecution or operations departments of PEMRA for appropriate action.
“As far as the complaints against a specific media group are concerned, all those complaints were forwarded to the council of complaints which is likely to decide the matter today (Friday),” sources added to Pakistan Today, Daily Newspaper.
Government Removes, Chairman PMERA challenged!
ISLAMABAD: According to an order, President Mamnoon Hussain dismissed Chaudhry Abdul Rashid Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Chairman and the government claimed that it had followed the modus operandi ‘prescribed’ by the court to remove him.
However, Chaudhry Rashid has decided to challenge his dismissal in the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which is already hearing a case against him.
Sources told Dawn that the government was trying to lodge an FIR against Chaudhry Rashid to arrest him so that he could not move the court against his removal.
“The government removed the Pemra chairman in disregard of the fact that his case is being heard in the high court,” Mr Rashid’s lawyer Hafiz Arafat Ahmed said.
Lawyer Wasim Sajjad will file a petition in the high court on Friday against the removal.
A tug of war between the government and Chaudhry Rashid surfaced soon after the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) came to power and started removing top officials of many organisations who were appointed by the Pakistan Peoples Party-led government. The chief of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) was one of them.
Apparently, the government wanted to appoint its ‘own’ man as Pemra chairman and therefore decided to dismiss Chaudhry Rashid on Dec 15 last year. It appointed another official of Pemra, Rao Tehsin, as its acting chairman.
The following day Chaudhry Rashid went to the Islamabad High Court, which nullified the appointment of Rao Tehsin as acting chairman and granted stay against the removal. It observed that due procedure had not been adopted, including issuance of a show cause notice and a charge-sheet citing reasons for the termination..
A source in Pemra said soon after the court’s order, the government issued a show cause notice and charge-sheet “to follow the instructions of the high court”.
Chaudhry Rashid was appointed Pemra chairman on Jan 26 last year by the PPP government.
The source said after the government failed to throw out Rashid from the office through administrative order, it used different tactics to force him to leave. Meanwhile, the government formed a three-member committee comprising members from the Pemra board. The Pemra chairman was rendered powerless as all his powers were transferred to the committee.
“An interesting situation arose when the committee struck down orders of Chaudhry Rashid and the latter cancelled the committee’s decisions,” the source said.
The lawyers of Chaudhry Rashid again filed a petition in the IHC informing the court that his all powers had been withdrawn and he was illegally stopped from performing his duties. The court is yet to announce its decision on the petition.
In the charge-sheet issued to Chaudhry Rashid, he was accused of giving landing rights to some private TV channels and indulging in corrupt practices. He refuted the allegations.