The television and electronic media regulator on Saturday issued directives barring all entities it regulates from granting screen time to 'proclaimed offenders/ absconders' from courts of law, including several journalists and members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
The notification issued by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) pointed to orders of the Sindh High Court from October 2014, which held that proclaimed offenders/absconders do not have the right to enjoy various rights, such as appearing on television.
"Under Section 27 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007 hereby prohibits media coverage of above-mentioned individuals being proclaimed offenders on electronic media and refrain from airing any news, report, statement or tickers of individuals mentioned at para 2 above, in compliance with the principles laid down in PLD 2016 Karachi 238," it directed, adding that the matter has been referred to the Council of Complaints for appropriate recommendations.
If any registered member is found violating the orders, legal action would be initiated against them.
The list includes 11 names, almost all of which pertain to PTI party members or members of the wider media fraternity who have leaned towards PTI. Most of these individuals are believed to be not in Pakistan any more.
The individuals now barred from appearing on Pakistani television include:
Syed Akber Hussain Shah (S/o Syed Hazoor Hussain)
Muhammad Sabir Shkair (S/o Muhammad Shakir) - Journalist
Moeed Hussain Pirzada (S/o Peerzada Mahyudin) - Journalist
Wajahat Saeed Khan (S/o Syed Shafqat Khan) - Journalist
Adil Farooq Raja (S/o Umer Farooq Raja) - ex-serviceman and YouTuber
Haider Raza Mehdi (S/o Syed Ghafar Mehdi) - YouTuber
Shaheen Sehbai (S/o Qadoos Sehbai) - Journalist
Ali Nawaz Awan (S/o Muhammad Nawaz Awan) - PTI party member
Farrukh Habib (S/o Muhammad Arshad) - PTI party member
Murad Saeed (S/o Saeed Ullah) - PTI party member
Hammad Azhar (S/o Mian Muhammad Azhar) - PTI party member.