The Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) advised television stations on Monday not to run information critical of the army and judiciary.
The regulatory authority stated in a statement that it had issued orders to TV stations not to broadcast information critical of state institutions during talk shows, news bulletins, and live coverage of public rallies.
“Moreover, licensees have been sensitized of the fact that ridiculing state institutions especially Judiciary and Armed Forces is against PEMRA laws and various judgements of the Superior Courts,” the PEMRA statement added.
The PEMRA has previously asked its licensees to abide by the authority’s rules and court decisions in letter and spirit, as well as to refrain from airing “slanderous campaign/material” against any governmental institution, as such content is prima facie considered “propaganda.”
In addition, the body has ordered all satellite TV channels to install an effective delay mechanism in their transmissions, particularly when covering public gatherings and rallies, and to form an independent editorial board in accordance with the Electronic Media (Advertising and Programs) Code of Conduct 2015 and superior court orders.
The body also advised satellite broadcasters to be cautious and refrain from broadcasting “malicious, obnoxious or derogatory material through their platform against any state institution including Judiciary and the Armed Forces”.
PEMRA has also warned the channels that if they commit any intentional or unintentional violations, the authority’s laws will be invoked, resulting in the prohibition of programs/talk shows under Section 27 without notice, imposition of a fine up to Rs1 million under Section 29, suspension/revocation/cancellation of license/closure of transmission under Section 30 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 Amended PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007, suspension/revocation/cancellation of license/closure
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