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ISLAMABAD: The Chairman, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), Iftikhar Rasheed, said on Sunday that more than 25 amendments would be made in the concerned laws to regulate television channels and cable operators.
In an exclusive interview with APP, he said the operators would not be allowed to run prohibited channels, obscene films and immoral programmes. It has also been decided that licenses of the channels, which do not begin their telecasts within the specified time, will be cancelled and issued to other aspirants.
The Pemra chief said it was necessary to keep the country’s interests in view and enforce the rules and regulations. He pointed out that the United States, the United Kingdom and other European countries also issue guidelines to their media.
Owners of newspapers should be given permission to run TV channels, he said, adding that the matter was in parliament and new licenses for channels would be issued as soon as parliament gave assent to it. Parliament has already constituted a committee for this purpose. MNA Rehana Aleem Mashhadi heads the committee, which would submit recommendations.
Replying to a question about ZTH, the Pemra chief said the authority would decide about it in its meeting to be held in March.
The cable operators have been asked to show Pakistani channels, he said, and warned that strict action would be taken against the cable operators who did not follow the rules. He said the enforcement department would be made more proactive.
The Pemra chief said it had also been decided to extend the complaint councils to district and Tehsil level. He said the citizens would be given representation and would be paid from the amount of the penalties received.