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Thursday, 17 April 2014

 

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Army excels in National Taekwondo
KARACHI, Apr 16 (APP): Pakistan Army swept all the 30 gold medals at stake in the National Taekwondo Championship at the Rangers Training Centre & School here, said a news release issued here on Wednesday. Army martial arts players dominated the event from start to finish with superb technique and power.
 
First round of Inter-Media cricket tournament ends
ISLAMABAD, Apr 16 (APP): The Inter-Media Cricket Tournament organized by Pakistan Telecommunications Company Limited (PTCL) continues in full swing here. The tournament, organized in collaboration with National Press Club, comprises of teams belonging to national and international print and electronic media. The first round saw thrilling matches between various teams which competed fiercely to reach the second round.
 
Army excels in National Taekwondo
KARACHI, Apr 16 (APP): Pakistan Army swept all the 30 gold medals at stake in the National Taekwondo Championship at the Rangers Training Centre & School here, said a news release issued here on Wednesday. Army martial arts players dominated the event from start to finish with superb technique and power.  Army player ended with 30 golds, two silvers and as many bronze medals to accumulate 797 points.
 
Sports diplomacy to highlight Pakistani talent in UAE
ISLAMABAD, April 16 (APP): Prime Minister’s Special Envoy, Ambassador Javed Malik said on Wednesday sports played an important role in connecting people and promoting a sense of healthy interaction aimed at building positive relations between the communities. “We always support such initiatives that bring people together,” he  said while speaking as the guest of honour alongwith diplomats from Sri Lanka and India who were joined by the Chairman of Dubai Cricket Council at the launching ceremony of T-20 Super stars cricket tournament being organized in Dubai under the auspices of Dubai Cricket Council.
 
Kabir looking forward to build Afghanistan team for Cricket World Cup
KARACHI, Apr 16 (APP): Afghanistan chief coach Kabir Khan said on Wednesday that he was looking forward to build the team for next year’s ICC Cricket World Cup. “Its my endeavour to build-up Afghanistan team for World Cup showpiece event,” he told APP on arrival here from Peshawar. 2015 World Cup is co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand in February-March and Afghanistan is among the qualfiers for the event.
 
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NA body issues report on alleged closure of Geo Super by PEMRA PDF Print E-mail
ISLAMABAD, May 2 (APP): The Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting Belum Hasnain on Monday issued report on the issue of alleged closure of Geo Super by PEMRA raised by Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly and referred to the committee for investigation.According to report, the Standing Committee met on 19th April, and invited Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Chairman PEMRA and Representative from Geo Super to hear their points of view.
The Representative of Jang Group (Geo Super) Muhammad Suleman,Group Director briefed the Committee that since Geo Super does not possess the broadcasting license from Pakistan, therefore it filed an application on 1st April, 2011 to PMERA for grant of uplinking permission from Pakistan to show IPL matches being held in India. PEMRA on 4th April, 2011 asked for certain detail which were provided on 6th April, 2011.
However, PEMRA did not allow the uplinking permission and the channel was constrained to stop its programming. He further told that due to denial of uplinking permission, neither the advertisements could be telecast nor pre and post debates during IPL matches could be managed.
He accused the Government and PEMRA of targeting the Geo Group by denying uplinking pemission and stoppage of government advertisements.
He also blamed PEMRA for giving undue advantage to PTV. Replying to the queries raised by Members, he informed that Jang Group had been paying taxes and government duties except few disputed payment which were outstanding subject to the decision of the Court. He did not accept the claim of Chairman PEMRA and said that the programming was being uplinked from its Dubai Office.
The M/o Information and Broadcasting informed the Committee that  the issue had been almost settled before the Lahore High Court after both the parties i.e. PEMRA and Geo Super had agreed upon a consent agreement but unfortunately that could not materialize since the Counsel of Geo Super withdrew the consent on behalf of his client before it was signed by both the parties.
The Honorable Court while dismissing the petition observed in its short order that it did not give any adjudication in the matter owing to the pending proceedings before the Honorable Supreme Court of Pakistan, therefore, there was no use of enforcing a consent arrangement on an unwilling part.
The Secretary further informed that it was earlier agreed between both the parties that Geo Super shall revive its broadcast transmission from their station at Dubai and forthwith provide the transmission parameters to PEMRA, whereupon within 10 minutes of commencement of such transmission, PEMRA shall allow temporary unlinking of pre-match and post-match debate by Geo Super from Pakistan.
Clarifying the stoppage of adds to the Jang Group, the Ministry informed that advertisements worth Rs. 8 crore were released to the Jang Group till date. It was also informed that PTV being the national broadcaster mostly caters the population which does not have access to the Cable facility; therefore, it does not fall within the ambit of PEMRA Law.
Later, the Committee heard the point of view of Chairman PEMRA. He informed the Committee that PEMRA firmly believes in freedom of media and plays its role as Regulator so as to ensure compliance of PEMRA Ordinance in letter and spirit.
He said that Geo Super had launched a baseless and questionable campaign against government and PEMRA, which was contrary to the facts.
He pointed out that Geo Super only possesses landing rights and does not have a Satellite TV License. Therefore, under section 31 of PEMRA Ordinance, it cannot broadcast or uplink any programme from Pakistan.However, it can uplink its programming from Dubai and PEMRA has not barred it from doing so.
The Committee was further apprised that request for temporary uplinking permission was received in PEMRA on 4th April, 2011 and was evaluated in light of PEMRA Law and the Management of Geo Super was asked the same day to remove the deficiencies in their application with a direction not to uplink from Pakistan while the application was being processed.
However, the channel stopped its transmission and discontinued uploading any contents for broadcast/retransmission just to malign the government and the PEMRA. At present the logo of the Channel is being received by the cable operators from satellite. He further informed the Committee that Geo Super was violating the Law and uploading its programming from Karachi Office instead of uploading it from its registered office in Dubai.
He informed the Committee that M/s Birds (Pvt.) Ltd. (Geo Super) has been issued Show Cause Notice under section 28 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended vide Amendment Act of 2007 to resume the broadcast/transmission of Geo Super under Landing Rights Permission failing which PEMRA is liable to suspend the Landing Right Permission under the law.
He further informed the Committee that the Channel started telecasting IPL Matches on AAG TV which was a clear violation of the law thus it had to order for suspension of the channel from Cable network besides issuance of a show cause notice to explain the violation of the law, in that regard.
After intense discussion, the Committee suggested that both the parties as a good gesture may agree on the consent statement presented before the Lahore High Court so that the transmission of the Channel could be aired without further delay. Text of the statement is as follow:
“Geo Super shall revive its transmission/programming from their station at Dubai as per transmission and programming parameters mentioned in Landing Right permission, whereupon within 15 minutes of commencement of such programming, PEMRA shall allow temporary uplinking for local converge in connection with IPL”
The above statement was read out to both the parties i.e. PEMRA and Geo Super. The Representative of Geo Super agreed with the draft statements, however, asked for consultation with the higher management of the group since he was not authorized to commit anything. The Committee agreed to his request and the process of consultations carried for more than one and half hour.
Later, the Representative turned up and informed the committee that his management agrees on the contents of the draft statement except the word “transmission”. He contended that Geo Super had not suspended its transmission but the programming was not being uplinked due to restriction by PEMRA, therefore, the world “transmission” may be replace by the world “programming” but it was not agreed by the PEMRA since both the terminology have different meaning.
The Chairman PEMRA suggested that Members of the Committee and Geo Management may physically verify the uplinking status of Geo Super but the Geo Management refused to visit.
The Committee tried its utmost to resolve the issue however due to the indifferent attitude of the Geo Super management; the whole exercise resulted in futility. The Consent Statement prepared by the Committee was signed by All the Members of the Committee present at that time, Minister and Secretary M/o Information and Chairman PEMRA. However, representative of Geo Super refused to sign it on the pretext stated above.
Therefore, the Committee after hearing both the parties and taking into account the facts resolves that since the matter was pending before the Supreme Court for adjudication, therefore, let the Honorable Court decide as per law. A 4-member Sub-Committee comprising of MNAs Chaudhry Saeed Iqbal, Ms.Shireen Arshad Khan, Farhat Mohammad Khan and Istiqbal Khan has also been constituted to physically verify the claims of PEMRA and Geo Super regarding uplinking of programming from Karachi or Dubai.
The M/o Information and Broadcasting has been directed to review the PEMRA Law to make the regulatory role of PEMRA more effective.
The Committee comprises of the following members of Belum Hasnain, Chairperson, Chaudhry Saeed Iqbal, Syed Amir Ali Shah, Farha Naz Ispahani, Samina Mushtaq Pugganwala, Shireen Arshad Khan, Waseem Akhtar Sheikh, Bushra Rehman, Farhat Mohammad Khan, Istiqbal Khan, Pir Fazal Ali Shah Jeelani, Farzana Raja, Mir Amer Ali Khan Magsi, Begum Nuzhat Sadiq, Rana Nazir Ahmad Khan, Shahzada Mohiuddin, Sahibzada Muhamamd Mahboob Sultan and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan.
 

     

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