Pakistan fines TV channel, bans its anchor- UPDATED

Luqman has been fiercely criticizing judiciary for not taking action against rival Geo News, which he accuses of treason

Pakistan fines TV channel, bans its anchor- UPDATED

World Bulletin/News Desk

A Pakistani high court has banned controversial TV anchor Mubasshir Luqman and his program for bitterly criticizing the judiciary, officials have said.

Luqman hosts the show “Khara Sach”, or "Open Truth", on ARY Digital -- one of the top TV channels in Pakistan.

He has also been prevented from appearing on any other show as a host, observer or participant.

"In pursuance of the Lahore High Court order, we have informed the management of ARY Digital that if the court orders are not obeyed in both letter and spirit, then the government will be forced to initiate legal action that may lead to the cancellation of its license and the imposition of a fine," Fakhr Mughal, a spokesman for the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority -- the government body responsible for monitoring the country’s electronic media -- said Monday.

He added that Luqman's ban will remain in effect until November 11, when the final judgment will be issued.

After the statement, Pakistani government suspended the licence of ARY TV and fined USD100,000 for critizing the judiciary.

The court also ordered the Ministry of Interior to pace both Luqman and ARY’s chief executive, Salman Iqbal, on an exit control list.

Luqman has been fiercely criticizing the judiciary, especially Supreme Court Justice Jawwad S Khawaja, for not taking action against ARY’s rival, Geo News, which happens to be the country’s top TV channel.

The firebrand anchor has accused his rivals of committing "treason" by criticizing Pakistan's army.  

Geo TV and the country’s army have been at odds with each other ever since an attempt on the life of one of its most famous journalists, Hamid Mir, in April last year in the southern port city of Karachi.

Mir, who was shot five times but survived, placed the blame for the attack on the country’s spy agency, the Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence.

The agency has denied the allegation. 

Geo TV is currently off-air in half of Pakistan, which management suspects is due to covert pressure being placed on cable operators by the security establishment.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Ekim 2014, 23:41
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