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TV channels asked to shun sectarianism

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has urged electronic media to observe the sanctity of Muharram and warned against promoting sectarianism and hatred. A circular issued by Pemra Chairman Dr Abdul Jabbar to all the media outlets has warned them against relaying or distributing any programme against the sanctity of Muharram. It said no programme should be aired or distributed in contravention of the Pemra code of conduct which calls for refraining from passing derogatory remarks about any religion, sect or community or using words contemptuous of a sect or an ethnic group or which promoted communal and sectarian feelings or disharmony. Similarly, it said, no programme would be tolerated which might provoke hatred against an individual or a group on the basis of race, ethnicity and religious orientation. It directed electronic media to make special programmes that discourage sectarianism and prejudices and promote Islamic principles of tolerance, brotherhood and harmony. The Pemra chairman said violation of the directives would be taken seriously, warning that such a violation may result in imposition of heavy fines and suspension or even cancellation of licences under Pemra law.  ]]>

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