The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority PEMRA has cancelled the TV license for BOL News and Entertainment channels today issuing a sudden press release. The surprise decision comes on the day when world celebrates the Media Freedom Day.
TV Licenses of M/s Labbaik (Pvt) Limited, namely BOL News and BOL Entertainment (Pak News) were revoked by the authority after the interior ministry refused to provide security clearance to BOL’s company directors Shoaib Shaikh, Ayesha Shoaib Shaikh, Viqas Atiq and Sarwat Bashir.
In its 131st meeting at the PEMRA headquarters on Tuesday, PEMRA took the decision following recommendations by the Council of Complaints (CoC) Sindh, which had prepared a report after asking the media group for clarification.
The meeting was attended by member Sindh Assembly Sarfaraz Khan Jatoi, Member KPK Assembly Shaheen Habibullah, Member Punjab Assembly Nargis Nasir, Secretary Information Sardar Ahmad Nawaz Sukhera, Chairman PTA Syed Ismail Shah and Chairman PEMRA Absar Alam.
The Authority has asked BOL News and BOL Entertainment (Pak News) to surrender their original TV licenses and clear any outstanding dues without any delay.
PakSat, Pakistan’s communications satellite operated by SUPARCO, has been ordered to immediately stop the transmission of BOL News and BOL Entertainment (Pak News), which no longer have PEMRA’s permission for landing rights in Pakistan.
Another notification has been passed to all TV distribution networks and cable operators, directing them to take the two channels off air immediately.
If any party violates PEMRA’s orders, it will have to face legal consequences.
Update: Sindh High Court nullifies PEMRA Decision
The Sindh High Court has restored BOL TV’s license, essentially nullifying PEMRA’s decision to keep it off air.
A two judge bench of the SHC, headed by Justice Aftab Ahmed Gorar, suspended PEMRA’s order on a petition by BOL’s administration and issued notices to the deputy attorney general, PEMRA, interior ministry and other respondents for May 10.
Soon after the court’s order, BOL News was back on air.