A simmering difference between the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and the the Jang Group has turned into a full-blown legal warfare, with acting Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) Dr Abdul Jabbar accusing the Jang Group of a personal vendetta against the federal government and by saying that “Geo TV is levelling baseless allegations against the government and the PEMRA regarding blocking of its Geo Super channel.”
The Jang group has launched the image tarnishing and defamatory campaign against the PEMRA and the PPP government through concocted stories and making lame excuses to avoid payment of general sales tax (GST) on the revenue generated from telecasting the Cricket World Cup matches.
Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said on Thursday that the administration of Geo Super was making lame excuses to avoid payment of general sales tax (GST) on the revenue generated from telecasting the Cricket World Cup matches.Talking to PTV, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said that a committee comprising senior jounalists had been constituted to deal with the matter of the closure of a private channel by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA). The Information Minister said that the government was strengthening media institutions for a democratic and prosperous Pakistan. She said that more than 70 channels were on air in the country, but only one of them was in the habit of blaming the government. She said that the PEMRA was an independent body, and that media had never been so independent as it was today. “Our government cannot even imagine to control any channel…But freedom did not mean a permission to exploit the government or to work against the interests of the state”, she said.
Meanwhile, acting Chairman PEMRA Dr Abdul Jabbar on Thursday strongly refuted the allegations of a private satellite channel regarding blocking of its sports channel. While addressing a press conference at PEMRA Headquarters Dr Jabbar, he said that if PEMRA had blocked the Geo Super channel, its logo would not have been visible on the screen. He said that if the management of the channel stops uploading the programme, the viewers cannot watch the programmes. He said “Geo TV is levelling baseless allegations against the government and the PEMRA regarding blocking of its Geo Super channel.” He said that neither PEMRA nor the government has any role in blocking its transmission. However Dr Abdul Jabbar said that as per law and the permission the channel has to uplink from Dubai not from Pakistan. Dr Jabbar said that PEMRA has no technology to block the channel from satellites… it is all malicious and baseless propaganda to malign the government and PEMRA and to deceive honourable apex court.”