Pemra suspends TV channel’s licence

The Pakistan Electronic Media Authority Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has suspended TV channel 24NewsHD’s licence with “immediate effect” for “airing hate inciting content” during a special Muharram transmission, it emerged on Monday.

In a press release dated August 30, the regulatory body said it had issued an advisory to all television channels on Aug 20, directing them “not to air material that would harm inter-faith harmony or which was based on sectarianism and inciting hate”.

It said TV channel 24NewsHD — which is part of Central Media Network Private Limited — aired “hate material during its special Muharram 10 transmission without exercising any editorial control” thus violating Pemra policies.

The authority added that it received complaints (regarding the transmission) after which it took “prompt action” and suspended the channel’s licence under section 30(3) of the Pemra Ordinance.

Pemra also issued a show-cause notice to the channel, according to the release, directing it to reply within 14 days. “The channel has been given the opportunity to present its stance according to the law,” it said.

However, its licence will remain suspended until completion of the inquiry, Pemra said.