The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Monday decided to shut down transmission of Bol News and Bol Entertainment for what it said was their failure to secure security clearance from the interior ministry. In its meeting, Pemra was told that it had also revoked the licences of the channel – owned by M/s Labbaik (Pvt) Ltd – in 2017, adding that the matter had been pending before the Sindh High Court until last year. The Pemra said the SHC also wrapped the case in 2021.
In its meeting, Pemra was told that it had also revoked the licences of the channel – owned by M/s Labbaik (Pvt) Ltd – in 2017, adding that the matter had been pending before the Sindh High Court until last year. The Pemra said the SHC also wrapped the case in 2021. The meeting was informed that the channel could not be allowed to operate until the Ministry of Interior issued a security clearance. “Hence, the Pemra reviewed all records, court orders, and notices from the interior ministry and subsequently decided to revoke licences issued to Labbaik (Pvt) Ltd (Bol News and Bol Entertainment) with immediate effect.” The watchdog noted that the licence of Bol Entertainment expired in Dec 2021 and the company did not approach Pemra for its renewal. Responding to the development, the PTI’s official Twitter account said banning the channel would affect thousands of people and their families. “The fascism and censorship we are witnessing today in Pakistan is unprecedented!”
Meanwhile, PEMRA while issuing fresh directives warned all the satellite TV channels of strict legal action for airing any content against the state institutions. The media watchdog, in a news release, also referred to its directives issued earlier on November 15, 2021, and April 19, May 9 and 16, August 9, 29 and 31, and September 2, 2022 to refrain all the licensees from “telecasting any content in any manner (either recorded or produced under its banner or aired during a live speech or press talk) against state institutions.