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Pemra bans TV anchor for 30 days

ISLAMABAD: The Pakis­tan Electronic Media Regu­la­tory Authority (Pemra) has prohibited anchor Dr Danish from appearing on any TV channel for a month in any capacity, for levelling false and unfounded allegations against senior officials of the Oil and Gas Development Company Limited (OGDCL) in one of his talk shows.

A complaint against Dr Danish had been filed by OGDCL managing director and chief executive officer Zahid Mir for levelling “a variety of unsubstantiated, false and malicious allegations” against him during his programme titled “Point of view with Dr Danish” telecast by Channel 24 on June 14 last year.

In his talk show, the anchor had alleged that Mr Mir had been appointed “out of merit” and without an advertisement.

According to the complainant, the channel had claimed that a number of other high-level appointments in OGDCL had been made “in an illegal manner”, including that of the chief financial officer, executive director finance as well as certain general managers. These allegations were made in a “vague and ambiguous manner and no proof was offered that the appointments in question were illegal in any way”.

The applicant said the TV channel also made several serious allegations concerning mismanagement and corruption without providing any proof.

According to the order issued by Pemra’s office of the Council of Complaints on Tuesday, the channel submitted its reply on Sept 3. It said that Dr Danish was provided an opportunity to get his statement on the matter recorded on Dec 10, but he chose not to appear before the council.

While considering the una­n­imous recommendations of the Council of Comp­laints, Pemra issued its ord­ers stating that “all satellite television licensees are prohibited from airing any programme containing Dr Dan­ish in any capacity whatsoever, i.e. host, guest, participant etc, for a period of 30 days from the date of issuance of this decision”.

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