LAHORE: The Punjab Assembly through a resolution on Friday condemned a ‘derogatory’ TV programme – Geo channel’s morning show named Utho Jago Pakistan – for hurting religious feeling of Muslim community in Pakistan and urged the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to take an action against the channel.
Opposition Leader Mian Mehmoodur Rasheed initially moved the resolution. However, the law minister objected to its draft and then tabled an amended resolution, which was carried unanimously by the house.
The draft of the resolution tabled by Rasheed was worded as follows: “This house condemns Geo channel’s programme, Utho Jago Pakistan, for blaspheming Ahle-Bait and Islamic dignity. Due to such programme, believers of Islam in Pakistan are heated and in a state of angriness. So, the house demands PEMRA to take stern action against the host, participants of the programme and the channel with immediate effect for avoiding such programmes in future.”
Anyhow, the law minister did not agree to the ‘direct wording’ of the resolution tabled by the opposition and moved a resolution from the government side in following words: “This house condemns the programme and demands the PEMRA, who has already taken notice of the matter, should act according to the law. As well as, the house also appeals religious scholars to guide the nation on credo and ideological basis of Islam on this specific occasion.”
Though the opposition leader tried to stick to the wording of his resolution, he became silent after a consensus was achieved among the opposition in favour of the government’s resolution paving the way for its passage. Both the opposition and the treasury also stressed avoiding political point-scoring on this issue.
The house also passed another resolution moved by the law minister showing solidarity and sympathies with Turkey over casualties of around 200 coalminers.
The 8th session of the assembly started two hours and five minutes late than the scheduled time of 3pm.
Speaker Rana Iqbal chaired the session. Khadija Umar Farooqi, who has recently been elected on a seat reserved for women from the platform of Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), took oath of her office.
During question hour, Excise and Taxation Minister Mian Mujtaba Shuja gave replies to queries tabled by the members on various concerning matters.
The law minister laid three ordinances – the Punjab Free and Compulsory Education Ordinance, 2014, Bab-e-Pakistan Foundation Ordinance, 2014, and Management and Transfer of Properties by Development Authorities Ordinance, 2014 – that were referred to the respective standing committees for legislation. The house was later adjourned to meet at 3pm on Monday.
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