PEMRA imposes Rs0.2mn fine on news channel for airing Abdul Razzak’s sexist comments

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) Council of Complaints imposed a fine of Rs200,000 on a private news channel for airing misogynistic comments passed by the host, co-hosts, and the guest cricketer Abdul Razzak, which targeted Pakistani woman cricketer Nida Dar.

The complaint was filed by Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, a renowned tennis player, represented by Barrister Khadija Siddiqi. The council, on the other hand, was headed by Barrister Muhammad Ahmad Pansota.

The talk show on which the comments were aired was ‘G Sarkar with Nauman Ijaz’, that aired on June 5, 2021. During the show, the hosts and guests ganged up to ridicule the Pakistani cricketer Nida Dar, which reflected in their demeaning and repulsive comments.

Barrister Khadija Siddiqi, in her comments to Minute Mirror said, “I was personally hurt when I saw that show. When you have such a fan following, you have a responsibility while speaking on public platforms.”

The barrister added that no one had the right to generalize any sport.

Siddiqi applauded the efforts of Aisam-ul-Haq and said, “This is very brave of him to stand by his colleagues.”

Pemra has approved the recommendation of the council, which included directions for the channel to refrain from giving airtime to any guest with a history of making insensitive remarks towards women. The regulatory body further ordered the channel to air an unconditional apology to the complainant and to women as a whole.

Duaa Mirza is a correspondent covering crime, social issues and law enforcement. She is the youngest crime reporter and the only woman who visits crime scenes on her motorbike. She tweets @DuaaMirza12.

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