By Ambreen Fatima
(Pakdestiny.com) Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra)’s bar TV actor Hamza Ali Abbasi from hosting Ramazan shows on Aaj TV on Ahmadi’s issue has sparked heating debate on social media — mostly chiding the authority for banning him.
Is this PEMRA’s move aimed at stopping Hamza to pose a challenge for Madari No.1 Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain? The rising popularity of Hamza’s show was posing a great threat to the rival anchors especially Geo’s Liaquat’s Ramadan program. “It is being suspected that Absar Alam, a former employee of Jang/Geo group is asked to take Hamza’s program off the air to benefit Liaquat,” a source said. However there is another point of view that the Pemra chief succumbs to Mullah’s pressure.
Why Pemra did not put Aamir Liaquat’s program off air despite violating Pemra code of ethics in Ramadan.
In a statement, Pemra said that it had received 1,133 complaints through Whatsapp, Twitter and telephone calls regarding the transmissions.
The complainants said both shows had aired provocative content.
“During these transmissions, ratings remain the focus under the guise of Ramazan shows,” read the Pemra statement, adding that “provocative conversations took place during the shows which has led to much anger and sadness”.
The regulatory body asked Aaj TV and TV One to implement the decision by 7pm on June 17, 2016.
“Even after clear instructions from Pemra, unfortunately TV channel owners, anchors and audience indulged in non-serious and irresponsible conversations,” added the statement.
The Pemra notification further adds if the hosts Hamza Ali Abbasi, Shabbir Abu Talib and religious preacher Maulana Kokab Noorani appear on any other channel and discuss this particular controversial issue or any other such topic, then that programme will also be banned.
The regulatory authority has notified the concerned individuals in this regard and has asked them to appear before the Complaints Council Karachi and record their statements on June 20, after which Pemra will announce its decision.
On the social media people debating “Why is Ahmadi such a taboo word? Ideological stances aside, my only goal is that when an Ahmadi is killed or persecuted, the media shouldn’t be scared to talk about it,” he had said.
“It is interesting to see how PEMRA has reacted so quickly and swiftly to what they perceive as a threat to our society. In its written statement, PEMRA articulates that it took only 1,133 WhatsApp messages, phone calls etc to stop the Ramadan transmission being hosted by Hamza Abbasi. My question here is two fold, a) Which law did the management of Aaj TV or Hamza Ali Abbas break which forced PEMRA to ban that transmission? and b) If it is so easy that it takes only 1133 messages for PEMRA to shut down a particular transmission or broadcast, then who will be protecting the rights of citizens when it comes to freedom of speech?
Another bloggar said “This is beyond ridiculous that a transmission was shut down on the basis of 1133 messages. I am in no favor of one sect over the other. But what I am in favor is that such an environment be created where we can have a debate, talk and question our ideologies without having to fear for our lives. It should not be so easy for PEMRA to take such drastic measures without a proper forum and discussion. There are many elements and persons in Pakistan’s society that appear on TV, who openly incite violence, disrespect religions and faiths, make vulgar statements, yet they are allowed to openly thrive and speak their minds freely without any filter or fear of PEMRA.”
There is a need to promote tolerance in society instead of stoking hatred in the society which is prone to vioelnce. Pakdestiny
Program which started controversy