Pakistan bans transmission for inciting sectarianism

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Islamabad, June 17 (IANS) Pakistani authorities on Friday imposed a ban on the Ramadan transmission of two private TV channels over “promoting controversial and sectarian views”.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) said the ban was imposed over the violation of the media regulator’s code of conduct.

“An immediate ban has been imposed on TV One’s programme Isq-e-Ramazan (hosted by Shabbir Abu Talib) and Aaj News programme Ramazan Hamara Iman (hosted by Hamza Ali Abbasi),” a statement said.

The media regulator directed both TV channels to immediately stop airing the programmes.

It all began with actor and social activist Hamza Ali Abbasi questioning the oppression of Ahmadis — a Shia sub-sect — in one of his programmes on Aaj TV.

“The community is being suppressed but if you talk about it, people say ‘You’re from that community, that’s why you’re saying this,'” said Hamza. “I am not an Ahmadi, I am a Sunni Muslim.”

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This triggered a harsh response from a religious cleric who allegedly threatened Hamza with “dire consequences” in another TV show on TV One.



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