At a joint meeting of Pakistan's cable operators and TV channel-owners, it was decided that they would all blank out Supreme Court proceedings from a case against them.
The court is hearing a case accusing the TV companies of airing obscenity and supposedly illegal Indian channels.
It was decided that even top news anchors would be bound by their respective managements not to touch these issues.
Almost all owners or senior executives of top Pakistani channels including ARY, Geo, and Express agreed to follow the decision of the Cable Operators Association.
According to sources, cable operators had threatened TV channel-owners that if they did not follow the decision, their channels would be put at the end of the tuning list in distribution networks across the country. The cable operators made it clear that
they would not accept any demand for the closure of illegal Indian channels particularly Star Plus and Sony which brought them money.
Update: Supreme Obscenity
14th August 2012. See
Pakistan's Supreme Court has directed the TV censors of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to set the parameters for discouraging programmes and advertisements supposedly showing obscenity on TV channels.
A three-member bench heard proceedings regarding nutter accusations of obscene and other objectionable material. The court gave four weeks to PEMRA for completing the process and directed to clearly define obscenity and submit a compliance report.
Appearing on notice, Acting PEMRA Chairman Dr Abdul Jabbar informed the court that he took all possible measures for discouraging obscenity on TV channels, adding that there were many complaints against obscenity on cable. He told the court that PEMRA
had fined TV channels spreading sectarianism, besides issuing notices to cable operators and TV channels for running advertisements and programmes containing obscenity.
The Criminal Justice of Pakistan asked the chairman that serving notices on TV channels was nothing but eyewash and that effective measures should be taken on urgent basis.
Update: Words in Parliament
29th October 2012. See
The National Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution expressing serious concern over the broadcasting of illegal foreign channels through cable network, the supposed growing trends of obscenity and indecency through local channels and the unchecked
flow of blasphemous and vulgar material through the internet into Pakistan in violation of the Constitution and the relevant laws.
The resolution, moved by the PML-N appreciated that the Pakistani media itself has initiated a debate on the issues of illegal foreign channels and obscenity while the Supreme Court has also taken suo moto notice of the same.