Pakistani news channel, Dunya TV has been cleared after a Dr Iftikhar complained that he was treated unjustly or unfairly in a programme.
The complaint stems back to 3rd July last year during the channel’s ‘Ikhtafali Note’ show. Iftikhar said the programme made ���false and baseless� allegations against him aimed at defaming him and casting doubts about his reputation. The programme included a discussion about a news report in which it was alleged that Dr Iftikhar had travelled to Monte Carlo, France in 2010 with Ms Ayyan Ali, a model who, the programme said, had recently been arrested in Pakistan. The offence was not disclosed. Photographs of Dr Iftikhar were shown throughout.
Dunya News said that the details of Dr Iftikhar�۪s alleged trip to Monte Carlo in 2010 had already been presented in court as part of the evidence in relation to an allegation that Dr Iftikhar had received bribes. Dunya News provided Ofcom with a link to an article published on The Guardian newspaper website in 2012, which provided details of the court case. The broadcaster also said that the information included in the programme that a model called Ms Ali allegedly travelled with Dr Iftikhar to Monte Carlo was incidental to the news story about allegations that Dr Iftikhar had received ���bribes in the form of gifts and foreign holidays in return for him being able to influence his father on court judgments”.
Ofcom ruled in favour of Dunya TV. It said that while it appreciated that Dr Iftikhar was unhappy that about allegations suggesting a connection between him, Ms Ali and a trip to Monte Carlo, we considered that the allegations, which had been widely disseminated previously in newspaper articles and news broadcasts, were repeated in this programme as part of a comment and round up discussion of recent news and current affairs. Given this, Ofcom did not consider that the comments made by the presenter and Dr Awan were, in themselves, likely to have materially and adversely affected viewers�۪ perceptions of Dr Iftikhar in a way that was unfair to him.
Therefore, taking all the factors above into account, Ofcom did not consider that material facts were presented, disregarded or omitted in a way that resulted in unfairness to Dr Iftikhar.
This was Dunya TV’s first complaint to Ofcom since its UK launch in April last year.