Legal authorities in Pakistan began proceedings against major media houses GEO News. The concerned parties were issued notices after GEO’s show Utho Jago Pakistan aired sensitive religious material, creating outrage among the general public.
All the accused parties, including morning show host Shaista Lodhi and actress Veena Malik, were charged under different sections of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), including Section 295-A (malicious content), 295-C (use of derogatory against the Prophet PBUH) and Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act.
The petition filed with the Islamabad High Court (IHC) focused on seeking a complete ban on the controversial qawwali that created this issue.
Notices were also issued to Federal Information Secretary, anchor Mubasher Lucman, Chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA), the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), and Chairman Cable Operators Association of Pakistan. This occurred after advocate Tariq Asad stated that such incidents had also occurred at other media houses, but no action had been taken.
Previously, anchor Mubasher Lucman had engaged in character assassination of Iftikhar Chaudhry, former Chief Justice of Pakistan on national television.
This incident must allow the realities of Pakistani media and its actions to be brought to light. All the above-mentioned stakeholders, especially PEMRA, must take this situation seriously and ensure that all media houses and their content is moderated and regulated, in order to avoid such situations in the future.