TV Censorship in Pakistan

 TV under threat from morally minded courts

 Updated: Banning the Best Bits...

Pakistan cable TV companies blank out news of Supreme Court case

Link Here 14th August 2012  full story: TV Censorship in Pakistan...TV under threat from morally minded courts

pakistan supreme court 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  article from

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  article from

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.


 Update: The Forces of Might Prevail...

Pakistan censors Geo News over reports that the country's spy agency did not like

Link Here 11th June 2014  full story: TV Censorship in Pakistan...TV under threat from morally minded courts
geo tv pakistan logo Geo TV, Pakistan's leading TV news station which dared to criticise the country's feared spy agency has been ordered off air.

Pakistan's TV censor suspended Geo News's operating licence for 15 days and fined it £60,000 for news reports that did not please the head of the military's Inter-Services Intelligence directorate (ISI), General Zaheer-ul-Islam.

The channel's president, Imran Aslam, condemned the decision, saying the forces of might have prevailed . It seems that justice has bowed down to forces that are above the law, Aslam said.

Amnesty International said it was a serious attack on vestiges of press freedom in the country:

It is the latest act in an organised campaign of harassment and intimidation targeting the network on account of its perceived bias against the military.

The row began on 19 April when Geo's coverage of an attempt to kill Hamid Mir, the channel's best-known journalist, enraged the military. Geo gave prominence to claims by Mir's brother that the ISI was behind the gun attack, which left the journalist seriously wounded. He claimed the hit had been ordered by Zaheer-ul-Islam, and the channel aired photographs and video of the otherwise little-seen spy chief.


 Update: Minority censorship...

Pakistan's TV censor bans 11 christian channels

Link Here 23rd November 2016  full story: TV Censorship in Pakistan...TV under threat from morally minded courts
Pakistan flagTV censors of the Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) have banned at least 11 Christian TV channels being run across the country.

The channels which have been blocked are Isaac TV, Gawahi TV, God Bless TV, Barkat TV, Praise TV, Zindagi TV, Shine TV, Jesus TV (Jessi TV), Healing TV, Khushkhabari TV, and Catholic TV , sources said. All the channels relayed religious programmes for Christians living in the country.

Pemra claimed the censorship was because the banned channels were broadcasting without licences but that was probably down to christian channels not being allowed to have licenses.

These TV channels are banned in line with ongoing Pemra campaign to ban illegal channels, Sheikh Tahir, the regulator's general manager media, told The Express Tribune . He said the blocked TV channels did not have licences to continue their transmissions.

Pemra seeks ministry's help in enforcing Indian DTH ban

In response to a question that why only Christian TV channels were banned, Sheikh Tahir, the Pemra's general manager medias claimed there was no segregation in the name of religion.

Talking to The Express Tribune , Nadim Anthony, a Christian advocate and rights activist, termed it a blow to the Christian minority of the country. Anthony said the blocked channels had a huge viewership, through which community members took religious guidance. He added:

There are so many Islamic TV channels functioning in the country but no one can dare ban them, which is discrimination.


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