Pakistan media mughal booked under blasphemy, terrorist laws

Pakistan police registered a criminal case against against Geo TV owner Mir Shakeel-ur Rehman and Jang media group for showing a programme that allegedly contained blasphemous content, an official said. 

Geo channel on Wednesday staged a mock marriage ceremony of controversial actress Veena Malik as a religious song was played in the background. 

District and sessions judge of Okara in Punjab province yesterday ordered that a case be registered against Geo media group owner Rehman, anchor Shaistan Lodhi, actress Veena, her husband Asad Khatak and others over the programme. 

Police officer Rana Aziz said Veena, her husband Asad and programme hostess Lodhi were also named in the case registered with Margalla police station in the capital Islamabad

"They have been charged under Section 295 A, 295 C and 298 A of Pakistan Penal Code, which deal with insulting the religion, and Section 7 of anti-terrorism act," he said. 

Veena has recently married and the channel was celebrating the event. 

The song eulogizes the marriage of one of the daughters of the Prophet and various clerics and right wing groups said that the way it was played at the mock marriage had hurt religious sentiments of Muslims. 

Rallies have been held in several cities and protestors demanded registration of case against them under blasphemy laws, which prescribe maximum death sentence. 

Geo group has since suspended Lodhi's programme. 

Lodhi has apologised to her viewers for hurting their sentiments after the programme drew bitter reaction from them. 

Geo today published an apology on its Urdu paper 'Jang'. 

The channel administration has already sacked the entire team of the popular morning show, 'Utho Gago Pakistan'. 

The group is already under the hammer for criticizing spy agency ISI after its leading anchor Hamid Mir was attacked by unknown gunmen in Karachi last month. 

The Defense Ministry has formally asked Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, which controls media, to ban Geo for vilifying the security institutions. 

The media group is also facing criticism from former cricketing hero Imran Khan, which has alleged that it was funded by foreign government and works against national interests.

 Source: Business Standard