NA Standing Committee on Information meeting canceled in protest

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ISLAMABAD, May 27 (APP): The meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee on Information Broadcasting and National Heritage was canceled to protest against the absence of Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control officials.

Chairman of the Committee Pir Muhammad Aslam Bodla expressed his indignation over the absence of interior ministry officials, saying that the expenditures of the meeting of the committee should be recovered from the responsible officers of ministry of interior and narcotics control.

He said one point agenda item of Bol TV could not be taken up in the absence of the Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control.

The member of the committee Malik Aamir Dogar expressed anguish and dismay over the absence of Interior Ministry officials, demanding cancellation of the meeting until attending by interior ministry officials.

Senator Mushahidullah Khan, who attended the meeting as a special invitee, said his only concern was to release salaries of the employees of BOL TV.

Currently, the accounts of BOL were frozen. The employees should be given salaries by unfreezing atleast one account of the channel.

Nazir Leghari said the issue of licence of BOL were raised by Pakistan Broadcasting Association (PBA).

Members of the committee asked the chairman to constitute sub committees for thoroughly perusing the issue of BOL TV.

Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Absar Alam said Pemra has a system to check violations of code of conduct.

First step is to issue advise, followed by warning, showcause notice, personal hearing and then fine. Pemra decision could be challenged in high court.

Pemra has no powers to punish any anchor and guest of any programme of any TV channel. Pemra has only powers to take action against licence holder of a channel.

The meeting was attended by Shakir Bashir Awan, Muhammad Talal Chaudhry, Tahir Iqbal Chaudhry, Ms Arifa Khalid Pervez, Ms Belum Hasnain, Murad Saeed, Ms Naeema Kishwar Khan, Malik Muhammad Aamir Dogar. Additional Secretary Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Ms Saba Mohsin, Chairman Pemra Absar Alam, officials of the ministry and Pemra were also present in the meeting.