IHC hints at banning 'neelam ghar' during Ramazan transmissions

Published: May 8, 2018
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Despite the availability of many privately-owned entertainment channels in Pakistan, audiences have yet to see modern-day local TV series. PHOTOS: FILE

Despite the availability of many privately-owned entertainment channels in Pakistan, audiences have yet to see modern-day local TV series. PHOTOS: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Tuesday hinted at placing a ban on ‘neelam ghar’ during Ramazan transmissions if channels failed to comply by the guideline set by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

The court has fixed the case for final arguments on May 9 (tomorrow).

The hearing for the code of ethics for the Ramazan transmission and morning shows resumed in the IHC. The bench, headed by Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, heard the points put forth by PEMRA.

Director-General (DG) PEMRA said that the guidelines were forwarded to all the channels on May 4.

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Justice Siddiqui said that if the ‘circus’ continues, the court will have to place a ban on ‘neelam ghar’ during Ramazan transmissions.

The judge was of the opinion that for Muslims, there is no bigger breaking news than the Azaan itself.

“No channel broadcasts the Azaan, and in fact show dance numbers and advertisements during that time,” Justice Siddiqui observed. He pointed out that even the PTV has stopped broadcasting the call for prayer.

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“If this is how things will be, then we should remove the “Islamic Republic” title from the country’s name,” the judge remarked.

Justice Siddiqui also said that protecting Islamic values is the responsibility of the state.

The court has asked PEMRA for a report, asking how many out of 117 channels in Pakistan broadcast Azaan, and adjourned the case until May 9.

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