Shuhada Foundation Demands Strict Action against ARY Under Blasphemy

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Shuhada Foundation, Lal Masjid, has typed a letter to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) chairman demanding a severe action against ARY TV for repeatedly airing programmes containing blasphemous content and insulting the judiciary besides looking for issuance of instructions to cable operators to unblock Geo TV transmission in the country promptly.

Shuhada Foundation calls for a strict action against ARY channel and its hosts for broadcasting blasphemous content
Shuhada Foundation calls for a strict action against ARY channel and its hosts for broadcasting blasphemous content

The Foundation’s spokesperson, Hafiz Ehtesham Ahmed, said in a press release that the Foundation has filed a court order request in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) producing secretary information, chairman Pemra, chairman CII, chairman PTA, chairman Cable Operators Association, chief executive ARY TV, ARY anchor Mubashir Lucman, ARY morning show host Nida Yasir, Dr Shaista Lodhi, Qawal Amjad Farid Sabri and poet of ‘blasphemous’ Qawali Aqeel Mohsin Naqvi as respondents. He said the IHC judge Justice, Noorul Haq Qureshi, has gave out notices to all accused.

He told that morning show host of Geo TV, Dr Shaista Lodhi, publicly apologized on May 15 for the unintentional mistake in her show on May 14. He said Geo administration dismissed the team of the programe and started investigation. He said recognized ministers believed that Dr Shaista Lodhi could not be declared an offender in the light of Quran and Hadith after she has apologized publicly.

The spokesman further said, Pemra notices blasphemous transmission of Geo TV but takes no notice of the fact that ARY TV was airing blasphemous content. He wanted that Pemra should take an action against ARY TV as they have done against Geo TV. He said ARY anchor Mubashir Lucman deliberately aired Geo TV’s morning show which inadvertently blasphemed Ahle Bait. He said Lucman has not apologized for this mistake and ARY has also ignored it. He said Lucman has not only committed blasphemy deliberately but also tried to buff religious detestation, putting lives of Geo TV workers on risks. He said due to this shameful act of Lucman, many Geo TV employees have been criticized. He said this act of Lucman falls in the category of terrorism so Pemra should order registration of a case against him under ATA.

The spokesperson added that ARY host, Nida Yasir, has carried out a programme containing similar content as Dr Shaista Lodhi but Nida has not apologized till now. He said in the light of these facts, ARY TV is a bigger offender than Geo TV. He therefore demanded a harsh action against ARY host Nida Yasir.

He called for a blasphemy case against ARY TV Chief Executive, Salman Iqbal, for allowing airing of blasphemous content on his TV. He said words of the Qawali are blasphemous so it should be banned on TV. He said Mubashir Lucman in his programme “Kharra Sach” insulted judiciary, not least Justice Jawwad S Khawaja on May 21, 22. ARY TV Islamabad Bureau Chief, Sabir Shakir, was also involved in these programmes, he said. He told that Pemra should ask cable operators to unblock Geo TV transmission if not he would go into proceedings against Pemra.