The ‘LOL’ in PEMRA
The present state of our very own Pakistan electronic media regulation authority is actually laughable. We have ‘illegal meetings’, ‘illegal decisions’, ‘illegal bans’, ‘illegal press releases’ and the ‘illegal chairman’ Pervaiz Rathore is the newest addition to the list.
An authority that can’t manage regulating itself is out to regulate the countless out spoken media outlets in the country. LOL indeed…
But the question is, has it always been this way? Has this regulatory body that talks about its constitution and law with it’s head held high, always had the guts to abide by it?
You see PEMRA’s private members talking about how accusing the chief of a powerful spy agency of an attempt to murder a senior journalist for eight hours straight is not journalism at all and I agree. Although I can’t help wondering where these patriotic authority members were during the period? Why didn’t they intervene and put the channel off air when GEO’s transmission was going on, just like they did for Capital TV? And isn’t this selective justice? I hope Israr Abbasi doesn’t mind answering that.
Anyway, the government members aren’t angels sent from heaven above either. They are more like puppets under the information ministry, which itself is a puppet under the federal government.
Not forgetting the newly appointed ‘illegal’ acting chairman, Pervaiz Rathore who has already been issued contempt of court notices for working as acting chairman even after the court had stopped him from doing so. And guess what, he is still doing it! One of the recent ‘illegal’ decisions he has made as chairman is suspending ARY’s license for 15 days against court orders. Isn’t that ‘contempt of contempt of court’ or something?
Moreover, the decisions PEMRA made previously under their ‘legal’ chairman weren’t very remarkable and just either. And some actually seemed out of this world.
Like how PEMRA issued notices to Iqrar ul Hassan of Sare Aam for ‘spreading vulgarity’ after the episode on Quaid-e-Azam’s grave room being available on rent went on air. That’s right! Exposing those involved in disrespecting Quaid’s grave is ‘vulgarity’ and Katrina Kaif dancing half naked on GEO is… ENTERTAINMENT! Way to go, PEMRA.
Another example would be PEMRA’s show cause notice to Geo issued on 21st February 2012 for ‘false reporting on BNN’ This can be confirmed from their official website.
It’s weird all my life I believed BNN was a comedy show. What’s next? Notices to Hum TV for ‘false reporting in Hamsafar’?
Somebody tell me how many show cause notices were issued to how many channels on the inappropriate reporting of the Karachi Airport Attack? When almost every other channel was out there exposing security, endangering the lives of their reporters along with the security forces countering the attack? Where was Fareeha Iftikhar? Where was Mian Shamsh? Where was Israr Abbasi? Where was Pervaiz Rathore? WHERE WAS PEMRA?
And if this so called regulatory body can’t stop the media from making a fool out of security, damaging Pakistan’s image world wide then why should it be there at all? Somebody is gonna have to come out. Somebody is gonna have to answer before it’s too late…