Following threats, PEMRA puts a lid on Hamza Ali Abbasi's Ramazan transmission

Published: June 17, 2016
Actor and social activist Hamza Ali Abbasi had questioned the oppression of Ahmadis.

Actor and social activist Hamza Ali Abbasi had questioned the oppression of Ahmadis. PHOTO: FACEBOOK

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has imposed a ban on the Ramazan transmission of two private TV channels over violation of the media regulator’s code of conduct by “promoting controversial and sectarian views”.

“An immediate ban has been imposed on TV One’s programme Isq-e-Ramazan (hosted by Shabbir Abu Talib) and Aaj News programme Ramazan Hamara Iman (hosted by Hamza Ali Abbasi),” a statement  said on Friday.

The media regulator directed both TV channels to immediately stop airing the said programmes, failing of which will end up in the removal of their transmissions on cable.

It all began with actor and social activist Hamza Ali Abbasi questioning the oppression of Ahmadis during one of his programmes on Aaj TV.

“The community is being suppressed but if you talk about it, people say ‘You’re from that community that’s why you’re saying this,’” said Hamza. “I am not an Ahmadi, I am a Sunni Muslim.”

This triggered a harsh response from a religious cleric who allegedly threatened Hamza of ‘dire consequences’ in another TV show on TV One.

Soon after the notification was issued, the actor took to social media and said: “There is a divine pleasure in suffering in the way of Allah (SWT) and his beloved Prophet & Messenger Muhammad (SAW).”

The notice further warned that in case any of the said hosts [Hamza Ali Abbasi & Shabbir Abu Talib] talk about controversial subjects in any programme of other channels, those programmes will also be banned immediately.

Decision on June 20

“Pemra has forwarded this case to its council of complaints in Karachi, which will announce its decision on June 20 after listening to all the parties concerned, who have already been issued notices,” the statement said.

The media regulator has, however, allowed the said TV channels to continue their Ramazan transmissions with new hosts until Pemra’s council of complaints announces its decision in the matter.

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Reader Comments (57)

  • Malik Saab
    Jun 17, 2016 - 7:12PM

    We as Pakistanis have a keen eye on Donald Trump and are vocal for his thoughts against us.But Donald Trump and every Non Muslim Far Right leader is right. This is the true face of Pakistan and Muslims in general. European Far right claim that Muslims are intolerant and they will not allow minorities to thrive. And look we are giving practical examples in this regard. Even do not allow someone to talk on some issue is uncalled and just running away from the reality and nothing else.
    Banning any discussion is basically like acknowledging that someone is sitting on the wrong footing and they are too worried that the truth will prevail. Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 17, 2016 - 7:21PM

    Very good decision by pemra. Well appreciated.Recommend

  • Khan
    Jun 17, 2016 - 7:24PM

    Silencing someone doesn’t mean you’ve proven that person is wrong. All it shows is that you’re scared of what he has to say. PEMRA may actually have helped Abassi by drawing attention to his words. After all, he won’t just stay quiet, and he can still influence millions of Pakistanis even without this show.Recommend

  • London Banker
    Jun 17, 2016 - 7:30PM

    Respect the law please. Thank you. Recommend

  • Unknown
    Jun 17, 2016 - 7:46PM

    The same PEMRA who banned someone for talking for minorities cannot ban Aamir liaqat as he is bigger than them Recommend

  • Hameed
    Jun 17, 2016 - 7:48PM

    I don’t get it. What has Hamza done which is illegal? However Kokab Norani’s threat certainly appears questionable. Why is PEMRA treating both the same? Absar Alam, what is going on?Recommend

  • Acorn Guts
    Jun 17, 2016 - 7:49PM

    Why bother with bitter truth. Stick to mango eating contests and motorcycle giveaways.Recommend

  • Amir
    Jun 17, 2016 - 7:57PM

    Yes the government wants to appease the clerics who preach hatred and sectarianism, so no one can talk about sentiments of these sectarian outfits who are our strategic assets….Recommend

  • Babbarsher Khan
    Jun 17, 2016 - 8:13PM

    We are doomed at least for next 30 years!Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Jun 17, 2016 - 8:14PM

    Right decision, ban this cartoonRecommend

  • Waqas Ahmed
    Jun 17, 2016 - 8:25PM

    Dear PEMRA
    Why your role is not unbiased? Why you don’t banned the so called Islamic scholar Amir Liaqat over real controversial program.
    Such a pity on your role.Recommend

  • Shahbaz H.
    Jun 17, 2016 - 8:33PM

    Pemra is over regulating and clearly leaning towards the far right. So now it’s a crime to speak for the oppressed! Cowards. Kudos to Hamza on speaking for the minority. Unless more people don’t do so, this country will slide into being a theocracy of a very worst kind!Recommend

  • sabi
    Jun 17, 2016 - 8:33PM

    Well done Hamza Ali Abasi you have earned our respect by staying against violent mullahs.Recommend

  • Rainbow Eyed
    Jun 17, 2016 - 8:38PM

    Banning this program can’t hide the truth.Recommend

  • BigFact
    Jun 17, 2016 - 9:09PM

    The whole nation is fed up of the display of weirdness and hypocrisy being aired in the name of Ramzan transmissions. We have actors, dancers instead of religious personalities in charge of religious shows. There is no remorse or repentence, the essence of Ramzan. Instead, you find these people doing all the forbidden stuff right after Ramzan ends, year after year. Not bearable. Recommend

  • wiserneighbour
    Jun 17, 2016 - 9:12PM

    This is called maximum intolerance.Pakistan has list the rights to talk about other nations minorities.Recommend

  • Toti calling
    Jun 17, 2016 - 9:28PM

    It is a mad mad world out there. Anybody asking the right questions are either hurt or go in hiding. That is a shame.Recommend

  • shakir
    Jun 17, 2016 - 9:46PM

    In present situation controversial issues should be avoided, but on the other hand if educated people talk about on such issues in healthy way, then we should tolerate it, in this way we will start tolerate each other.Recommend

  • NDA
    Jun 17, 2016 - 9:57PM

    This minorities issue is political. A lay person has not much knowlwdge and background on them. Better stay away and Pemra has done a good thing of keeping Hamza and other gentleman out of it.

    If need be , law should come into action but we must now allow any one create a situatin of conflcit in the country. Tere is certaily a campaign . Why all of a sudden minority conversions and marriages have become a topic for media attention both print and electroic. Recommend

  • Syed
    Jun 17, 2016 - 10:30PM

    What ignorance, Hamza did nothing wrong. If they are non muslim then so be it, why are they oppressed, abducted and killed? No man has the right to question someone’s faith. You have to go in your grave and answer to your questions/deeds. What has the world come too. And after reading the comments I say we deserve to ruled by such idiots. Ignorance and lack of information has turned us into animalsRecommend

  • Sid
    Jun 17, 2016 - 10:58PM

    Yet another truth suppressed.Recommend

  • bigsaf
    Jun 17, 2016 - 10:59PM

    Your ‘moderate’ Pak majority, which loathes the minority so much that they can’t even tolerate speaking about their plight or rights. Typical regressive institution and reflection of the nation.Recommend

  • FuriousPakistani
    Jun 17, 2016 - 11:35PM

    Why haven’t you mentioned that the religious scholar in question is Mr. Kokab Noorani sahab?Recommend

  • Jun 17, 2016 - 11:37PM

    if someone talks about the rights of minorities of pakistan , what is the problem in discussing Ahmedy minority in any tv show ? Recommend

  • Jun 18, 2016 - 12:05AM

    Strange? Why ban people from asking simple questions? Recommend

  • Arsha
    Jun 18, 2016 - 12:17AM

    So don’t create a situation of conflict and let minorities continue to be victimized by oppressed – that surely does not qualify as conflict.

    Let’s sit quiet till government decides to make a law becuase governments are so wise and omniscient. And of course government would definitely think up new laws even though noone is asking for that change in society. YAYYY UTOPIA!Recommend

  • Pardesi
    Jun 18, 2016 - 12:45AM

    We Muslims want our right every where and any where but we our selves deny the same rights to others. Unable to understand that in this Islamic Republic police is not taking action against the people who are threatening peaceful citizens.Recommend

  • hashim
    Jun 18, 2016 - 1:21AM

    Hamza got what he wants of course cheap publicity Recommend

  • Jun 18, 2016 - 1:29AM

    Pemra took good step towards these so called molviRecommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jun 18, 2016 - 1:38AM

    Wonder what the reaction would be in Pakistan if THE WEST started to treat Muslims just like Pakistanis treat Ahmadis???!Recommend

  • Hameed
    Jun 18, 2016 - 2:18AM

    Now don’t complain of India where people can at least speak.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Jun 18, 2016 - 2:55AM

    Why Ami Liaquat is spared. We must tolerate minorities. Beeting a Hindu or criticizing Ahamadis is not the answer. Duty lies with clerics and Tabligi Jamat and other Mullas to show correct face of IslamRecommend

  • inaam
    Jun 18, 2016 - 3:24AM

    its banned on voice of so called molvis not on response of the people what people wants is to discuss on actual. as a ground fact all Ahmadis are true lovers to Hadhrat Muhammad PBUH so molvis should leave talking liesRecommend

  • Dr. Boodhun
    Jun 18, 2016 - 3:28AM

    There is nothing as a controversial issue.

    Threatening to kill someone on LIVE TV is a dangerous move and the offender has to be arrested and stand trial.

    On the other hand asking questions in a civilized manner on pertinent issues is to be welcomed because it enlightens society.

    I think PEMRA has sent the wrong message by including the victim in the censure.

    Dr. Boodhun

  • inaam
    Jun 18, 2016 - 3:33AM

    @Ahmed: please don’t appreciate as no talk on social issues is becoming chronic for society and if ahmadis are wrong they should be wrong even after any discussion but we prove ourselves wrong by not discussing and banning Recommend

  • inaam
    Jun 18, 2016 - 3:36AM

    @London Banker: hahahahaha law Recommend

  • Najeeb Shah
    Jun 18, 2016 - 4:06AM

    Ahmedis and qayadanis are non muslims

    Freedom of speech has no space here , this a legally settled matter , and was going against the constitution of pakistan

    any liberal reading this is free to debate with meRecommend

  • sabi
    Jun 18, 2016 - 5:55AM

    @Najeeb Shah:
    Don’t be happy one day it will be you and there will be no one to say even a word of sympathy. Hate has no boundaries.Recommend

  • sabi
    Jun 18, 2016 - 6:02AM

    Its a matter of shame that top leadership, both civil and military , is blind not to see criminals under their nose.Recommend

  • Shaukat ali
    Jun 18, 2016 - 7:04AM

    The bitter truth is that Arabs in Israel have more rights and protection than religious minorities in Pakistan. We have become the most intolerant ruthless nation in the world and as evident by comments here, we are also proud of it.Recommend

  • Hypocrisy
    Jun 18, 2016 - 7:04AM

    @Najeeb Shah: Then don’t squeak when trump and america says and does same to you..accusing you of being radicals who should be kept out of liberal western society. Don’t cry foul and preach non muslims then, when you are epitome of intolerance. Recommend

  • ZN
    Jun 18, 2016 - 8:23AM

    PEMRA, needs to be clear about its role. This is disgusting and pathetic approach. Why ban him if he wants to discuss about the rights of minorities. He his asking valid questions. Recommend

  • Jawad U Rahman
    Jun 18, 2016 - 8:58AM

    It’s ironic that the guy who incited the murder of Ahmadis in his program, continues to operate without issues, and the guy who raised a voice for the rights of minorities including Ahmadis is forced into silence.Recommend

  • Mirza Asif Baig
    Jun 18, 2016 - 9:38AM

    We all know Kokab Norani Sahab, is a very Polite man.
    It is clear Pemera is over regulating. Recommend

  • Hasan
    Jun 18, 2016 - 9:41AM

    Hamza Ali Abbasi’s crime is clear. We are becoming a jahil (illeterate), ignorant and fundamentalist people, breeding intolerant thoughts, thanks to religious inbreeding of Zia Ul Haq regime whose seeds were sown in a free thinking Pakistan in the 1980’s. There is no place in Pakistan anymore for humane, intellectual, open minded people who can live peacefully & non-violently like the rest of the civilised world lives.
    Agree with one of the comments above, our beloved country Pakistan has been stripped of the basic values of humanity & dignity by our corrupt plundering “leaders” and their stooge institutions like pemra – and sad will be the day when actions will be taken by the free world against rogue governments that suppress or victimize their people because of their out-dated beliefs.Recommend

  • Jun 18, 2016 - 9:49AM

    Dear Islamabad Tribune

    We the Muslims of Pakistan are strong enough to bear the hue and cry of Ramzan Transmission anchored by ladies like Sadia IMam and Maya Khan where men like Qutub sitting on a chair watching them as a tamasha… there is no empirical school of thought and calmness in a program that louds on Air at high transmission timings. This is the time when rozadar audiences wait for a serene yet thought provoking voice from Community.

    The PPEMRA should know that when a women can scream than some one can also voice about those who are not heard .
    Please take actions and not reaction.


  • Toti calling
    Jun 18, 2016 - 11:01AM

    @Malik Saab: Well said. I agree with your conclusions. Recommend

  • Pakistan
    Jun 18, 2016 - 2:47PM

    @Malik Saab:
    It has become fashionable for our psuedo characters like this man to act foolishly and create social problems. Hamza is not that stupid to appreciate the prevailing tensions, political and other. So his this stupidity is either sponsored by enemies abroad or within. Evil has spread so much that now I feel he is desecrating the name Hamza.Recommend

  • Fahad
    Jun 18, 2016 - 9:51PM

    @Najeeb Shah:
    He was not asking about weather they are Muslims or not , he was asking about the fact that they are being oppressed and being killed. Isnt that something to ask ?

    They were part of the creation of Pakistan , they are our minority , rights of minorities should be safe guarded also. Recommend

  • Fahad
    Jun 18, 2016 - 10:00PM

    Who says Zia’s era has ended ! , it still continues. Pakistanis need to adobt and coexist otherwise things look to bleek. Recommend

  • leela4fun
    Jun 19, 2016 - 1:20AM

    When you bury your head deeper in the sand, you can see nothing but sand!Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Jun 19, 2016 - 4:28AM

    PEMRA should ban talk shows. These actors create more trouble then good because they have no visionRecommend

  • NDA
    Jun 19, 2016 - 3:47PM


    Pakistan has no problem with minorities and vice versa. Issues of relationships between various socio-cultural groups is part of communal living. It is State’s responsibility to strike a right balance between freedom and responsibility. Pemra / State was right in constraining Hamza and stopping him from unnecessary controversy. He is a showman and there is strong possibility he was influenced from somewhere to take this sensitive issues in the month of Ramadhan.

    Half of his purpose is attained- publicity and rating- but at the cost of overwhelmingly large majority of peaceful Muslims . This is hypocrisy. Recommend

  • Hasan
    Jun 20, 2016 - 12:56AM

    Amazed at ur reply and perception about serious issues in life. Not everyone cares about ratings. Civilised people solve problems by lifting the veil of jahalat (ignorance) and Zulm (cruelty) through dialog.Recommend

  • Jun 20, 2016 - 4:23PM

    Respect for Hamza ali abbasiRecommend

  • Syed Saif
    Jun 21, 2016 - 5:52PM

    I really apreciate pemra for timely action against real culprit Hamza.Recommend

  • Reality
    Jun 28, 2016 - 8:22PM

    Being a citizen of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, my demands on behalf of this report are as follows:
    1 – When was PEMRA formed?
    1 (a) – Who does PEMRA reports to ?
    1 (a) (i) – Who selects the PEMRA human resource ?
    1 (a) (i-i) – Who are in PEMRA decision making body ?
    1 (a) (i-ii) – What are their criteria of selecting PEMRA decision making body ?
    2 – What is the mission and vision of PEMRA ?
    2 (a) – What are their code of conduct ?
    2 (a) (i) – What principles do they follow, if they do, for their job ?
    2 (a) (i-i) – Who regulates them, for their irregularities ?
    2 (a) (i-ii) – Who tells them what to do and what not to ?
    ################ To be ContinuedRecommend

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