Islamabad: Pakistan's electronic media regulator on Wednesday revoked the licences of two television channels after the interior ministry refused to give security clearance to their directors.
Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) took the action against the Bol channels on which former Pakistan presidents Pervez Musharraf and Asif Ali Zardari used to appear as analysts on weekly shows.
"Bol News and Bol Entertainment (Pak News) have been ordered to surrender the original licenses and clear all outstanding dues," PEMRA said. It said the ministry had refused to clear four directors including Shoaib Shaikh, Ayesha Shoaib Shaikh, Viqas Atiq and Sarwat Bashir of the Labbaik (Private) Limited company which owns the two channels.
The TV channels are owned by Shoaib Sheikh who was arrested for his alleged role in international fake degree scam but later cleared by courts in Pakistan.
Sindh High Court had last year ordered restoration of Bol News' license and the TV started operation. It was not known why the interior ministry refused to provide security clearance to the company's directors. It also instructed PakSat, a satellite telecommunications company, to stop the transmission of Bol News and Bol Entertainment (Pak News) and directed all distribution networks and cable operators to take the two channels off air. PEMRA said it would act against those found in violation of the order according to the law.