LAHORE: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued a notice to two local TV channels for airing false news against Finance Minister Asad Umar and State Minister Shehryar Afridi.
The PEMRA has sought a reply from the two channels – Dunya News and Geo News – in two days.
In a tweet on Saturday, the PEMRA shared the notices sent to the TV channels. The PEMRA demanded the channels to share a contradiction of the news relating to government’s dissatisfaction over Asad Umar’s financial policies, and the renovation of Shehryar Afridi’s house.
The PEMRA warned the channels that their licenses can be suspended if they don’t ratify the reports.
Information and Broadcasting Minister Chaudhry Fawad Hussain had on Friday demanded the PEMRA to take notice and initiate action against spread of baseless and false news against Finance Minister Asad Umar and State Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi.
پیمرا کا وزیرِ خزانہ اسد عمر اور وزیرِ مملکت برائے داخلہ شہریار آفریدی سے متعلق غلط خبر نشر کرنے پر دنیا نیوز اور جیو نیوز کو نوٹسز جاری. دو روز میں جواب طلب. pic.twitter.com/7Fouy13AnO
— Report PEMRA (@reportpemra) October 13, 2018
In a statement, the minister strongly condemned creation of a negative situation by airing false news.
PEMRA should investigate who spread the false news, why it was aired and whom it wanted to damage, he added. He said Asad Umar was a respectable personality of Tehreek-i-Insaf, adding the airing of a baseless news attributed to the prime minister was based on ill intention.
He said some elements were trying to create political and economic instability.
Under a specific agenda, a certain group of media was being used to defame the PTI government, Fawad added. He said the false news of renovation of house of State Interior Minister Shehryar Afridi was condemnable.
The character assassination of the minister active against land occupiers and land mafia was unfortunate, he noted. The minister said PTI will not withdraw from its reform agenda by getting fearful of the media trial.