PEMRA Urges TV Channels To Cover Pakistan-Iran Tensions Cautiously
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulation Authority (PEMRA) issued a directive to all satellite TV channel licensees, urging them to exercise extreme caution in reporting on the escalating tensions between Pakistan and Iran. This advisory followed Pakistan’s execution of highly coordinated and precision strikes on terrorist hideouts in Iran’s Sistan-o-Balochistan province.
The retaliatory strikes occurred just a day after Tehran launched missile and drone attacks in Pakistan’s Panjgur. Interestingly, these events unfolded on the same day that Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar met with the Iranian foreign minister during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani also had a telephone conversation with Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian. In response to these developments, PEMRA issued a letter addressed to all licensees operating in news and current affairs and regional languages, instructing them to avoid telecasting or breaking any unsubstantiated news regarding the recent tensions between Pakistan and Iran.
PEMRA emphasized the importance of verifying information related to the situation from relevant institutions before broadcasting. It urged licensees to present factual information and reports through their transmission, aligning with the state narrative during this critical time, as and when released by the relevant authorities.
The regulatory body specifically addressed news and programming heads, urging them to exercise vigilance in verifying information received on their desks or through communication channels. Only after necessary fact-checking should they air the information, as any false reporting could potentially create unrest and insecurity among the public.
PEMRA issued a stern warning that any observed violation, reported incident, or identification through complaints would prompt the authority to take action under Section 26, 29-A, and 30 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002, as amended by the PEMRA (Amendment) Act-2023. This underscores the gravity of the situation and the regulatory body’s commitment to maintaining responsible and accurate media coverage during these sensitive times.