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Anchor Holds PEMRA Lahore Office At Gunpoint, Gets Decision Reversed, Celebrates With Pizza

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A TV anchor stormed the office of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and held all those present at the office at gunpoint in an effort to persuade top officials in Islamabad to reconsider their earlier decision against him.

According to a report by The News, the anchor in question had been fined Rs. 500,000 by PEMRA after he had accused two provincial ministers of corruption without proving it in his TV programme.

Retaliating against this action by PEMRA, the TV anchor arrived at the authority’s Lahore office along with his personal security detail of three guards from the police. He was also accompanied by two plainclothesmen. The party took everyone present hostage, including the Regional General Manager. He then got on speaker-phone with a top PEMRA official in Islamabad and got him to say that he would do anything that the anchor demanded. The top official not only agreed again and again, he also went on to apologize profusely for the authority’s action against the anchor. With the Lahore RGM still held hostage, the phone conversation went on and it was agreed that the official from Islamabad would personally visit Lahore to apologize to the anchor for the action against him.

With the problem now “resolved”, the anchor instructed the plainclothesmen accompanying him to purchase ten pizzas and bring them to the PEMRA office in Lahore. In this “celebration”, all those present there were given pizza to eat and the anchor apologized for any inconvenience that he may have caused them.

He also drove home the impression that he was influential and well-linked with members of the judiciary and security agencies.

The RGM for PEMRA in Lahore delivered his detailed report on the matter personally to that authority’s chairman in Islamabad. He included video and audio evidence made using cellphones as these extraordinary events unfolded at the PEMRA office in Lahore. The report is being treated as top secret and the RGM also noted that many things that were said and done had been left out so as to preserve the dignity of the organization.

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