Islamabad, February 8 (Express Tribune/NIA): At a time when hate mongering and branding as an “enemy agent” are becoming acceptable in TV programs in the Indian subcontinent, the Pakistan Supreme Court is attempting to stop this nefarious practice by banning Aamir Liaquat Hussain’s program Aisay Nahin Chalega on Bol News TV.
The apex court on Wednesday upheld a Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA’s) ban against anchorperson Aamir Liaquat Hussain’s programme, ‘Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga’ on Bol News TV for promoting hatred against social activists and journalists.
In the program Hussain used to regularly dub social activists and journalists as “anti-Pakistan” and “anti-Islam” and castigate them. In Pakistan, such accusations could lead to arrest under various harsh acts like the anti-terror and the blasphemy law. Death sentences are common under the blasphemy law.
A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Amir Hani Muslim set aside the stay order issued by the Sindh High Court on January 27 in favor of Bol News.
Directing the management of the TV channel to submit a written response to the show cause notice issued by the electronic media regulator, the top court said the management of Bol News should appear before PEMRA to argue their case.
The bench, however, said PEMRA’s order may be challenged by the respondent before the High Court and after hearing both the parties it may pass appropriate orders.
PEMRA had stated that they had received hundreds of complaints regarding the content of Aamir Liaquat’s show.
The complaints contend that the host (Aamir Liaquat) has been making unfounded and baseless allegations against [social] activists and journalists of being anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam, which also endanger innocent lives.
It added that PEMRA itself monitored that Aamir Liaquat and found that he was willfully and repeatedly making statements and allegations that were derogatory and tantamount to hate speech, incitement to violence and casting allegations of being anti-state and anti-Islam against citizens, which is also a clear and blatant violation of Section 20 of the 2002 Ordinance and Rule 15 of the PEMRA Rule-2009.
(The featured picture at the top is that of TV anchor Aamir Liaquat Hussain)