The Federal Minister of Water Resources Faisal Vawda caused quite a spectacle on Tuesday night while appearing on Kashif Abbasi’s “Off the Record” as a representative of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf. Representing the Pakistan People’s Party was senior leader Qamar Zaman Kaira and Senator Javed Abbasi sat in for PML-N.
Vawda used a boot to ridicule the opposition while commenting on the recent vote of the Army Act in Parliament- in which both PML-N and PPP voted in favor. Opposition leaders and the general public expressed extreme disdain for the unethical way Mr. Vawda behaved on live television and for the act of bringing a boot with him to the studio. He was also criticized by Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is allegedly not happy with the act.
While a petition has been filed in the Sessions Court against Faisal Vawda, Kashif Abbasi also got the brunt of PEMRA, the media regulatory body, who deemed his attitude during the incident to be extremely unprofessional as he did not intervene or attempt to handle the situation gracefully. His behavior was allegedly in violation of Section 27 (a) of the PEMRA Ordinance, amended in 2007.
Kashif Abbasi has been banned from appearing on television for 60 days which includes appearing on other shows or providing expert opinions elsewhere. The PEMRA notification stated,
“The act of the host is also in violation of clauses 3(l)(e,j), 4(7)(b), 4(10), 5, 13 and 17 of Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisements) Code of Conduct, 2015, read with Section 27(a) of Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2000,”
Violation of the ban can result in a suspension of ARY News- if the channel does not comply with the PEMRA notice.
Journalist groups feel that the ban is a violation of freedom of expression and is interfering with the jobs of journalists and presenters.