Council of Islamic Ideology, Parliament to define ‘obscenity’ for media?

Meeting on PEMRA case decides: “any content which is unacceptable while viewing with the family transpires...

Our Correspondent August 27, 2012

ISLAMABAD: A consultative meeting on Monday suggested Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), which had has been assigned the task to define the term ‘obscenity’ in a Pakistani context, to refer the matter to the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) and Parliament.

A statement issued by PEMRA said that the meeting also concluded that “any content which is unacceptable while viewing with the family transpires obscenity” and recommended formulating a committee to screen out unwanted content from television advertisements as well as regulating the rating of television channels.

The meeting was convened on the directions of the Supreme Court.

However, prominent media personality, Javed Jabbar opposed involving the CII in defining obscenity, adding that it was a complex matter and would be difficult to evolve consensus upon.

Earlier, the apex court had taken notice of the petitions filed by Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed and former chief of Jamat-e-Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmed against obscenity and vulgarity being broadcast on the electronic media. They requested the regulatory body to make policy guidelines barring TV channels from broadcasting vulgarity.

According to the law, TV channels are barred from telecasting ‘obscene material’; however there are no set parameters to what can be classified as obscene.

During the meeting Chairman PEMRA briefed participants about various terminologies, connotations and expression used to define obscenity in different countries.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed said that Pakistan was created in the name of Islam and its Constitution clearly envisages that there can be nothing against the Holy Quran, Sunnah and Shariah.

He specifically criticized news channels for spreading vulgarity in the guise of entertainment news particularly showing vulgar dances and songs in every headline.

The re-enactment and dramatization of crimes was also severely criticized by the participants as they said that this form of disgust in the garb of investigative journalism should not be tolerated by PEMRA.


Ahmed Zubair | 8 years ago | Reply

Disgusting that Pemra members suggesting blanket terms to define Obscenity its people like these who push back Pakistan even further into darkness and illiteracy. They should all be sacked and replaced with Intelligent people who can tackle obscenity without effecting quality of good dramas and shows.

Ansari | 8 years ago | Reply

That's a great step and I fully support this. TV dramas and channels are no more family channels. I agree that Obscenity is different for everyone and that's the reason why somebody has to decide it. This can't be left open ended as people have different opinions about it. In fact, parliament and judiciary is there for the same reason.

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