The report appeared in The News;
(Javed Jabbar): The spectacle of cable TV operators going on strike on 19th March 2011 exactly during the hours when the Pakistan cricket team played and won a tough cricket match with Australia represented, in essence, a gross failure by Pemra to prevent such an extreme action.
Just when the media sector and the people should have been united in celebrating a hard-fought, admirable victory, the country’s mostly-blank TV screens reflected bitter division, conflict and score-settling.
In the context of the ongoing conflict between the government and the Geo/Jang Group in which covert, coercive pressures are reportedly being used to “black-out” the Geo Super telecast, the belated action by Pemra causes concern as to whether these were like measures by an “agent provocateur” to further inflame a situation.
As the cricket team prepares for the quarter-finals of the World Cup and the nation cheers it on, let Pemra set an example of courageous, firm, unbiased regulation and enforcement. All broadcasters, private and State, and all cable operators also have an obligation to promote mutual respect and cooperation. To echo what the umpire says on the field before the first ball is bowled “Play”! And “Play fair”!
- This is an opinionated article published on the first page of the newspaper, rather in the opinion section.
- The scribe has given his comments throughout and has based the article on assumptions.