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ISPR approval mandatory for channels to invite retd military officers


News Desk |

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued instructions to the televisions channels to seek the permission of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) before inviting retired military officers as a defense analyst in news and current affairs programs.

The notification said: “All news/current affairs TV channels are requested that retired armed forces officers may only be invited as Defence Analyst for discussion on military matters with prior clearance from ISPR. Subsequently, same (has) to be done prior to the first appearance of any officer as Defence Analyst.”

The media regulating authority has issued the notification on April 4 noting that retired military officers when invited TV programmes “are usually not fully conversant with the latest defense and security developments due to their service background and post-retirement time”.

PEMRA also noted that the discussion leads the military officer into a political debate. The notification stated, that discussions featuring retired personnel “mostly switch from security matters to politics, which inadvertently embroils military officers into the political debate” — a situation is described as “undesirable”.

Hence, the PEMRA has directed the TV network’s to seek the permission of ISPR and if the subject of the discussion is on non-security matters then the guests are introduced simply as “analysts”.

Read more: PEMRA orders TV channels to stop airing ‘indecent content’

“Retired military officers, if invited in talk shows for discussion other than security matters should be titled as analyst only. However, the procedure for clearance may be processed with ISPR as Defence Analyst,” the notification added, seeking strict compliance with the instruction by the TV channels.

Several Defence Analysts have been making appearances in TV programs as analysts. Often their participation in political discussions has led to inadvertent conflict between military and civil leadership.

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