KARACHI: The host of Geo TV’s programme “Meray Mutabiq,” Dr Shahid Masood was given a ‘last chance’ to appear before a division bench of the Sindh High Court (SHC) and defend himself in a constitutional petition filed by a Karachi resident. The petitioner, Muhammad Akbar Shah, contends that the channel and Dr Masood were fanning cultural hatred.
Dr Masood was on notice to appear before the court on Thursday and submit his counter affidavit.
When the petition came up for hearing, the petitioner’s counsel said his client was coming to Karachi to sign the counter affidavit. When the bench again brought up the case, this time in the afternoon, counsel told the court that his client’s flight had been delayed.
The bench adjourned the hearing to December 14 and gave Dr Masood a final opportunity to defend himself.
Pemra (Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority) also filed a written reply, submitting that they would follow any order the bench passes. Independent Television Network, owner of Geo TV, in its reply, said that no one was hurt by the programme and they had never intended to harm the cultural unity of the country or of any province.
The petitioner had submitted that the alleged remarks were made by a guest, Muhammad Saleh Zafir, about President Asif Ali Zardari for wearing a Sindhi cap during his visit to Kabul. The petitioner said that this was an attempt to politicise Sindh’s culture and create hatred among Pakistanis with regards to one another’s cultures.
The petitioner asked the court to direct Pemra, the ministry of information and broadcasting and other respondents to take action against Geo TV and Dr Shahid Masood.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 3rd, 2010.