NA committee takes up allegations against news channel

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ISLAMABAD, Dec 8 (APP): Standing Committee on Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage on Thursday was apprised that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) only took action after television channels violated the code of conduct.

The committee met under the chairmanship of Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla here Thursday and discussed the baseless/false allegations against public holder by journalists Rauf Klasra and Mubashir Lucman.

Briefing the committee, Chairman PEMRA Absar Alam said the code of conduct was implemented on directives of Supreme Court in August 2015 taking on board all stakeholders including Pakistan Broadcasters
Association.

He said the authority had taken 128 actions against television channels for violating the code of conducts in last six months. Some 17 actions were taken on complaints of members of the parliament, he added.

Absar Alam said Council of Complaint (CoC) was an independent body in its affairs and efforts were being made to dispose of complaints as
early as possible.

The committee directed PEMRA to provide requisite information to Secretary, National Assembly who was a complainant on behalf of Speaker, National Assembly in a complaint lodged with PEMRA against Rauf Klasra.

The Committee further directed PEMRA to expedite the hearing of the complaint through its CoC for early decision.

The Committee after hearing the view points of Secretary National Assembly and Rauf Klasra, directed Chairman, PEMRA to provide the attested copies of the additional documents pertaining to the matter, to the complainant for submitting rejoinder.

The Chairman PEMRA assured the Committee that the required documents would be provided and the matter would be referred to the Council of Complaints, Karachi region to hear the complaint as the tenure of Council of Complaints, Islamabad region had expired and was in process of reconstitution.

State Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb said all institutions including Parliament and media were in process of evolution and it would take some time to settle down.

She said such situations would not emerge if all the institutions did their own job.

The minister said improvement could be brought if editorial committees in every television channels were activated.

The meeting was attended by MNAs, Muhammad Talal Chaudhry,
Chaudhry Muhammad Tufail, Leila Khan, Imran Zafar Leghari,
Murad Saeed, Dr. Muhammad Azhar Khan Jadoon, Malik Muhammad
Aamir Dogar, Naeema Kishwer Khan, Secretary Ministry of Information,
Broadcasting and National Heritage Saba Mohsin, Director General
Internal Publicity Wing Nasir Jamal and other senior officers of the departments concerned.