PEMRA suspends Dr Shahid Masood’s show on Bol News for 30 days

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday suspended talk show anchor Dr Shahid Masood and his programme, Live with Dr Shahid Masood, on Bol News for 30 days.

It also imposed a fine of Rs1 million on the Bol network for making baseless allegations against the Pakistan Army and the federal ministers for finance and defence.

The decision was made on the recommendations of the Sindh Council of Complaints (CoC) after the channel [Bol] and the anchor of Live with Dr Shahid Masood failed to prove their point over complaints lodged against them.

According to the complaint submitted to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) by federal Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar, in his show on Jan 24 Dr Masood had made allegations of a defamatory nature about an alleged meeting in Rawalpindi, with the mala fide and ulterior motives of attacking the integrity of the federal minister. Senator Dar claimed that no such meeting had taken place and the allegations were false.

It also said that the private TV channel was given two opportunities to defend its case but it failed to justify their position by not providing any evidence of the alleged meeting.

“The official record of Pemra confirms that Shahid Masood is a willful and violator of Pemra Code of Conduct and had been trying to create sensationalism through his irresponsible, untrue and derogatory comments against individual and the state institutions in the past as well,” the regulatory authority added in its remarks.

Last month, Pemra issued a show cause notice to Bol News over the content of Dr Shahid Masood’s show.

Dar has also sent Rs1 billion legal notices through his legal counsel to both Bol News and anchor Dr Shahid Masood for airing and anchoring the programme to defame him. The notice said the episode passed conjecture, libelous and defamatory statements to damage the finance minister’s personality and character.