ARY News is proven to have broken UK broadcasting rules for the 14th time

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LONDON: Britain’s TV media regulator Ofcom has ruled in favor of The News journalist Fakhar Durrani following a legal complaint he filed over false allegations made on British broadcaster New Vision Television (NVTV) of ARY News after the Fact Focus website published the Papa John’s and Bajco group story linked to Lt. Gen. (Retired) Asim Saleem Bajwa. *With this latest ruling, it is established that ARY News has broken UK broadcasting rules for the fourteenth time.*

Ofcom ruled in its judgment that NVTV – the UK carrier of ARY News – failed to take reasonable care to make allegations against Fakhar Durrani and that material facts were not presented and ignored or omitted from an unfair way for Mr. Durrani.

Fakhar Durrani had complained that NVTV showed his photos on TV and portrayed him as a traitor to Pakistan, which created serious threats to his life and family. He told the regulator that he was linked to journalist Ahmed Noorani and Arsalan Zafar, the employee of the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and son of former SECO Chairman Zafar Hijazi, to create a false story conspiracy against General (retired) Asim. Bajwa.

Allegations against Fakhar Durrani and others were made on NVTV after Ahmad Noorani published an article on the Fact Focus website on August 27, 2020 alleging that Asim Bajwa’s family amassed enormous wealth in the United States and that the growth of Asim Bajwa’s family business empire has a direct correlation to the retired general’s rising career chart. Asim Saleem Bajwa, the former Special Assistant to then Prime Minister (SAPM) Imran Khan, had argued that the wealth had been created by his brothers through investments in Papa John’s Pizza restaurant franchises and that he did not There was no corruption involved.

ARY/NVTV in its newscast and talk shows, including Power Play and Reporters, has called journalist Fakhar Durrani a traitor. The TV channel claimed it exposed a troika who shared information about Asim Bajwa family businesses with retired Indian military officer Major Gaurav Arya. In reality, there was no truth to these allegations and none of the reporters had passed any information to Major Arya. FYR/NVTV also connected Fakhar Durrani with Ahmad Noorani and Fact Focus journalist Ammara Shah.

Fakhar Durrani, in his complaint to Ofcom, said NVTV falsely tried to link him to Ahmad Noorani in the report linked to former SAPM Asim Saleem Bajwa. Durrani said that after leaving the Jang Group, Noorani moved to the United States in 2020 where he launched his own digital platform under the name FactFocus where he has his own staff, including journalists and editors. . Durrani said he had nothing to do with FactFocus or Noorani.

Durrani said NVTV’s assertion that “at no point did the report portray Mr. Durrani as having acted inappropriately” was “demonstrably untrue” as there was no balance or fairness in the program , particularly in regards to how Durrani’s photography was shown.

NVTV disagreed with Ofcom’s preliminary view to uphold the complaint in favor of Durani. NVTV referenced Durrani’s complaint and said it was not transparent that Ammara Shah works with Noorani who works in the Jang Group with Mr. Durrani. NVTV said Durrani, Noorani and Ammara had been identified in the SECP’s own investigation into the leaked information and had a professional connection to each other.

NVTV referred to the SECP report, which program producers had access to on a confidential basis. This document, he said, detailed the events that led to the security breach, including the fact that Durrani had approached a senior named SECP official for information on four companies linked to the BajCo group on July 27. 2021, as well as how Ammara and Noorani got involved.

Ofcom acknowledged that some viewers may know Durrani and his role as a journalist. However, Ofcom noted that Durrani was not publicly named as the author of the article published on factfocus.com, “which we understand was published by Mr Noorani”.

The decision said: “Ofcom also considered that the manner in which the photograph of Mr Durrani appeared in the report, and the statements made when shown, as set out above, were likely to have gave viewers the impression that Mr. Durrani had a closer connection. to Mr. Zafar, and the alleged theft of personal information from the Bajwa family that resulted in a request for SECP documents, that this was necessarily the case. We also considered that the repetition of Mr. Durrani’s photographs in this way was likely to have reinforced this impression with viewers.

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