Association of independent Pakistani fm radio stations go on air

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Association of independent Pakistani

FM radio stations go on AIR
Independent FM radio stations licensed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) have launched the Association of Independent Radio (AIR), setting up the country’s national body representing the industry.
AIR was launched by the FM radio stations mentioned below at a meeting in Karachi on October 13, 2005 facilitated by Internews Pakistan. The work of Internews Pakistan is funded by the United States Agency for International Development.
AIR gives the private Pakistani FM radio stations a platform to develop the sector along professional lines and to serve as a common voice to the issues related to the private radio broadcast industry in the country.
AIR approved a founding charter incorporating the aims and objectives of the association as well rules governing membership and electing the first office bearers. Details follow.
I. Name

  • Association of Independent Radio (AIR)

II. Objectives
The mandate for which the association is formed is as follows:

  1. act as a registered and representative body for the FM radio stations,

  2. improve the quality of radio services for the people,

  3. secure proper representation in media and regulatory bodies,

  4. seek non-discriminatory regulatory treatment of private/public broadcasters,

  5. maintain and defend independence of private radio stations,

  6. formulate a voluntary code of ethics for the member stations,

  7. establish institutions for monitoring, training, research and welfare,

  8. generate and mobilize resources for joint projects,

  9. exchange necessary data and information among members,

  10. work for joint positions on common issues facing private broadcasters,

  11. support quality broadcast education and training in universities,

  12. collaborate with social sector and civil society for media development, and

  13. protect and promote religious and cultural values.

III. Charter of Demands
Basic list to be prepared during the October 13, 2005 Roundtable

  1. FM radio community be declared as an industry allowing subsidized utility bills.

  1. Radio equipment import be exempted from all duties.

  1. Private radio frequency be allocated along with the grant of license as per the law.

  1. Government should acknowledge and facilitate FM radio in coverage of national/international events.

  1. FM radio should get government advertisement quota like the print media.

  1. PEMRA policing role should not be extended to broadcasters.

  1. Annual renewal fee be withdrawn and 10-years grant of license be respected.

  1. Two-years exemption from 2% payment of total revenue (from the time of regular transmission).

  1. 2% of total revenue be reduced to 1% of total profit.

  1. University students be allowed to cover real time stories.

  1. PEMRA must consult FM radio broadcasters on proposed amendments to laws.

  1. Parliament should invite radio broadcasters to hear their views on proposed amendments.

  1. Radio reporters e represented in national press bodies and press clubs.

  1. Radio representatives be given membership of PEMRA Board.

  1. PEMRA should provide funds to journalism departments of universities.

  1. PEMRA should provide technical, professional and monetary assistance to radio broadcasters.

  1. A Media Monopoly Control Authority be established to prevent anti-competitive practices.

  1. Cable operators be disallowed CD channels and advertisements.

  1. Type approval fee of the equipment be withdrawn.

  1. University journalism departments be exempted from base price fee and equipment be subsidized.

  1. News broadcast from national and international sources should not be restricted.

  1. Licenses transferred in contravention of PEMRA rules be cancelled forthwith.

  1. FM licenses in Tribal Areas be allowed.

III. Association Headquarter and Address
The main office of the Association will be situated at the work place of its elected chairperson or as may be decided by the Association from time to time. Every radio station will facilitate work of the association and its office bearers as much as possible.
IV. Membership
The Association membership shall consist of members as categorised hereunder:

  1. Full Members: On the principle of One-On-Air-FM-Station-One-Vote each FM radio licensees will have votes equal to the number of On Air stations (test or regular) they have licenses for. They shall have full membership and participation and voting rights. They shall also be eligible for induction in the Executive Committee of the association.

  1. Associate Members: The term shall include only such FM radio broadcasters who have the license and have applied for frequency but not yet on air. Such members shall be given full participation rights, but will not be eligible to vote. Further an Associate Member shall not be eligible for election or nomination to the Executive Committee. Select civil society organizations exclusively focussing on media development and press freedom may be awarded associate membership and of course with no right to vote.

  1. Observers: This category basically allows silent observer’s status to successful bidders (for FM radio licenses, who are yet to be granted a license), relevant regulatory authorities (PEMRA, FAB, PTA, Incharge ministries). Other observers may include press bodies, like APNS, CPNE, PFUJ and other media related civil society organisations. With no right to vote their participation shall however be subject to invitation by the executive committee of the association.

  1. Honorary Members: This term shall include those persons or bodies which, in honour of their contributions to the media/broadcasting field, have been inducted/asked to be inducted as members of the Society. These shall include prominent press freedom advocates, media academicians, analysts and Journalists etc. Such members shall not form part of the association and will attend the meetings only when invited.

V. General Body
a. Full membership with right to vote will only be granted by executive committee to stations that have gone on air through test or regular transmission. General body through a majority vote can also give full membership to an FM station if it has started its regular or test transmission.
b. The general body meeting shall be attended by full members with right to participate and vote, associate members with right to participate only, and others as defined above.
c. The meeting shall be summoned by chairman of the association or through a requisition to be submitted by 1 / 4th of the general body members addressed to the General Secretary of the association mentioning setting the agenda. On receipt of the requisition the general secretary is bound to summon the meeting of general body within two weeks of the requisition with date, time and venue.
d. The general body meeting will be presided over by the chairman and conducted by general secretary of the association.
e. The quorum for the general body meeting will be 1/ 3rd of its members.
f. The general body may set aside any decision taken by the executive committee through a resolution to be passed by 2/3rd of its members.
g. Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Northern Areas and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will have one seat each in the executive council and full membership will be granted to those on the air licensee companies, which are specifically based in the respective areas. These representatives will be elected by full members of the respective areas.
h. University campus radio stations shall have one representative in executive council to be elected by general body.
i. The general body will meet annually to take stock of the progress and debate association’s policies and practices and approve budget. Annual budget of the association will be placed before the general body for approval by majority. 
j. In the absence of the chairman for any reason the ex-com will elect another person to president over that particular meeting.
VI. Executive Committee
a. Executive committee shall comprise 9 members where decisions will be taken by majority of the members present. The quorum for the executive committee is 4.
b. Ex-com’s first task is to finalise the draft constitution and rules of the association and after approval from general body hold elections within one year of the same.
c. All policy level decisions of the ex-com will be placed before very next scheduled general body meeting for approval by majority.
d. Executive committee will comprise two stations each from Punjab and Sindh provinces and one each from NWFP and Balochistan for the duration of one year from the date of election of the first executive committee.
e. No licensee company can have more than one of its stations to represent in the ex-com.
f. Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Northern Areas and Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) will have one seat each in every Ex-com to be filled by an on the air licensee of the respective area.
VII. Chairman
a. The executive committee shall elect from among themselves a chairman and a secretary general by a majority vote
b. The chairman will operate from the place of his license office and city and will communicate to all association members his address and contacts.
c. The chairman and secretary general will be jointly responsible to the ex-committee for their actions and policies and the ex-com could by majority of the total membership replace them.
We, the FM radio broadcasters do hereby sign the above charter to establish “Association of Independent Radio (AIR).
Name/                                      Name of station (company)                              

1. Dr Shahjehan Sayed FM 107 Campus Radio Peshawar University

Chairman Department of Mass Communication, Peshawar University

2. Shahjehan Akbar Bhutto FM 92 (Nooriabad, Khairpur)

Managing Director

3. Sh Zaahid Iqbal Sunrise FM 97 (Hasanabdal)

Chief Executive Officer

4. Tariq Hashmi Radio Jeevay Pakistan FM (Bahawalpur)

Chief Executive Officer

5. Naeem Mirza Awaz 105 FM (Gujrat), 106 FM (Gujranwala)

Chief Executive

6. Shafqat Ullah Mast FM 103


7. Zaheeruddin FM 88 and 91

Chief Executive Officer

8. Najib Ahmad Power 99 FM (Islamabad, Abbotabad, Vehari)

9. Muhammad Pervaiz Apna FM 89 (Karachi)

Chief Executive Officer
10. Shazya Amin FM 91

Assistant Director

11. Afaq Hyder Sachal FM 105 (Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Larkana)

Chief Operating Officer

Election results:
Seats for executive committee contest elected representatives:
Total members elected: 6

Vacant seats: 4

Naeem Mirza-proposed by Zaheeruddin Ahmed (elected)

Imran-Bajwa-Najeeb Ahmed (elected)

Afaq Hussain Shah-proposed by Mr. Shahjehan Akbar Bhutto-elected

Mehdi Raza-proposed by Najib Ahmed-elected

Najib Ahmed-proposed by Tariq Hashmi—elected
FATA-1: (Vacant)

Dr. Shahjehan-proposed by Naeem Mirza-20 of present votes
Election of Chairman / General Secretary of the Executive Committee of Association of Independent Radio (AIR)

Najib Ahmed – Proposed by Afaq Shah (Elected unopposed)
General Secretary

Naeem Mirza – Proposed by Zaheeruddin (Withdrawn candidature)

Mehdi Raza – Proposed by Mr Shahjehan Akbar Bhutto (Elected)
Results as above compiled in preliminary meeting of FM Radio Stations at Karachi on this day of October 13, 2005.
Signed by the following FM licensees present:
1. Dr Shahjehan Sayed FM 107 Campus Radio Peshawar University

2. Shahjehan Akbar Bhutto FM 92 (Nooriabad, Khairpur)

3. Sh Zaahid Iqbal Sunrise FM 97 (Hasanabdal)

4. Tariq Hashmi Radio Jeevay Pakistan FM (Bahawalpur)

5. Naeem Mirza Awaz 105 FM (Gujrat), 106 FM (Gujranwala)

6. Shafqat Ullah Mast FM 103 (Lahore, Faisalabad, Multan)

7. Zaheeruddin FM 88 and 91

8. Najib Ahmad Power 99 FM (Islamabad, Abbotabad, Vehari)

9. Muhammad Pervaiz Apna FM 89 (Karachi)

10. Shazya Amin FM 91

11. Afaq Hyder Sachal FM 105 (Hyderabad, Nawabshah, Larkana)

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