A show-cause notice has been issued to Channel 24 by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) for purportedly airing hate speech, instigating violence, and being offensive to commonly accepted standards of civility in the program ‘Najam Sethi Show’.
The show-cause notice has been issued to the Central Media Network (Pvt.) Ltd which is the parent company of Value TV and Channel 24 for airing the program on Nov 24.
As a response to the show-cause notice, senior journalist Najam Sethi took to Twitter and posted the clip of the program, providing an explanation regarding the debate within the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), and remarked that the alliance was directionless and if at all it seemed that the common man was disappointed by the incumbent government, the opposition should protest aggressively.
Sethi then uploaded another clip of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan setting his electricity bill on fire as part of his civil disobedience campaign against the PML-N government, and wrote, “but that has been reported on mainstream media without any action from Pemra”.
He further tweeted a video clip of the current interior minister, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, delivering a blistering speech from the same stage. The show-cause notice stated that the host of Najam Sethi Show while remarking on a call related to the PDM’s long march, passed excessively objectionable comments which were tantamount to inciting violence.
The electronic media regulator noted that the remarks were aired without any editorial control. The notice points out a list of violations made by the channel as a result of the remarks by Sethi which includes violation of Section 20(e)&(f) of Pemra Ordinance, 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007, Rule 15(1) of Pemra Rules 2009, Regulation 18(1)(c), (g) of Pemra (Television Broadcast Station Operations) Regulations 2012 and Clauses 4 (7) (a) (b) (c), 4(10), 5, 17 & 24 of Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct, 2015 read with Section 27 of Pemra Ordinance, 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007. The violations have been explained in the show-cause notice as well.