Pemra bans Hamza Ali Abbasi from hosting Ramazan show

Source: Dawn

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has barred actor Hamza Ali Abbasi and TV show host Shabbir Abu Talib from hosting their Ramazan shows on Aaj TV and News One respectively.

Know more: Ahmadi persecution, blasphemy law and other things Hamza Ali Abbasi will discuss on his bold Ramazan show

In a statement issued on Friday, 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.

Hamza, co-host of Aaj TV’s post-Iftar transmission, Ramzan Hamara Emaan with Aisha Khan for Aaj TV, was holding discussions on the Ahmadi community and blasphemy laws during his show.

“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.

Past bans

Earlier, the regulatory authority announced a ban on shows dramatising crimes such as rape, murder, robberies and suicide.

Addressing a press conference, Pemra chairman Absar Alam had said that the authority has decided to ban such shows which re-enact crimes such as murders and suicide, and those that raid places in the name of investigative journalism.

The authority had stated it was forming a code of conduct and rules and regulations, which will soon be issued to the channels.

Pemra had also directed TV and Radio channels to “immediately stop” airing advertisements marketing contraceptives and family planning products, according to a notification issued to all media organisations in May.

The ban on contraceptives and family planning products was lifted a day later.

Geo Entertainment channel had received a show cause notice earlier this week for airing inappropriate content including ‘suicide scenes’ during its programme and has ordered the channel to explain its position before the authority on June 21.

Hum TV’s child abuse drama ‘Udaari’ was also served a notice by Pemra, which asked for explanation of a couple of scenes in the May 8 episode of the drama series.

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