Friday Aug 28, 2020
LAHORE: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority's (PEMRA) top official has ordered private channels to review drama scripts and ensure they are in line with Pakistani values.
PEMRA Chairperson Muhammad Saleem Baig's comments came during a visit to the regulatory body's regional office in Lahore, where the general manager, Akram Barkat, apprised the top official of his office's "actions against immoral content and Indian channels".
He was accompanied by PEMRA Director-General (Operations) Suhail Asif Ali Khan, General Manager (Media and Public Relations) Muhammad Tahir, and Head of Legal Affairs Tahir Farooq Tarar.
Baig directed for strict action to be taken in line with the law against immoral content and Indian channels. He also reiterated the authority's commitment to bringing the themes in Pakistani dramas that are in line with the country's social, religious, cultural, and moral values.
He further ordered private TV channels to review their drama scripts in order to bring them in line with the Pakistani values.
A delegation of cable operators also met Baig during his visit, where they were directed to "strictly follow the advisory issued for Muharram and maintain an environment of religious harmony and brotherhood in the holy month".
In order to ensure this, the top PEMRA official advised cable operators to ensure the channels they broadcast "were in line with the social, religious, cultural, and moral values".
The delegation apprised the chairperson of cable TV's digitalisation and various other problems they face, in response to which Baig directed PEMRA officials to "take effective measures to resolve all stakeholders' issues".
Separately, during his meeting with officials at the PEMRA's regional office, he discussed improvement in the body's policy-related and administrative affairs, as well as recommendations pertaining to its restructuring.
The top official was also briefed on the construction of the Lahore regional office's building. Baig, during his visit, suspended a field officer on the spot for neglecting work duties.
A day prior, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had demanded YouTube "immediately block vulgar, indecent, immoral, nude and hate speech content for viewing" in the country.
Citing the "extremely negative effects" of such content, the state-run regulatory body had said it was aimed at preventing "repugnant discord due to the presence of hate speech and sectarian material".
The PTA also directed the Google-owned video service to ensure removal of "objectionable content" and "put in place an effective content monitoring and moderation mechanism".