The media watchdog has imposed a fine of Rs100,000 on Geo News over derogatory remarks directed at Pashtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) chief Mahmood Khan Achakzai and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman in its programme Jirga on February 12, a statement issued by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) said on Wednesday.
Two guests, Ijaz Mehmand and Nisar Mehmand, in the show hosted by anchorperson Salim Safi, called Achakzai and Maulana Fazl “ghaddar” (traitors), the communiqué added.
سیاسی لیڈروں کو غدار کہنے پر جیو نیوز کو معافی نشر کرنے کا حکم pic.twitter.com/xd2IUnCNx7
— Report PEMRA (@reportpemra) May 10, 2017
On 17 February, Pemra had issued a show-cause notice to the TV channel directing the management to give an explanation.
Later, after examining the written reply, it was found out that the words used in the programme Jirga were in violation of Clauses 3 (1) (f), 4(10), 17, 22 and 23 of the Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015.
According to the statement, the channel is further directed to ensure that text to the same effect is displayed on screen during the entire programme in which Safi apologises.
The regulatory authority has also warned the channel to be vigilant in its selection of guests for talk show and to brief them about the code of conduct.
On account of airing of the violation of Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015, the TV channel is not only fined but its management and the anchorperson both are directed to tender an apology during the same time slot of the programme Jirga on May 13 by specifically naming the PkMAP and JUI-F leaders.
In case of non-compliance, the media watchdog shall proceed for revocation of its licence under Section 30 of Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007.