A morning TV show host who earned the ire of people across Pakistan when she accosted ''immoral''couples dating in Karachi's parks has been fired by her channel.
Samaa TV channel acted against Maya Khan after she failed to offer an unconditional apology for her show that was criticised by ordinary Pakistanis and media analysts.
Scores of people signed petitions asking Samaa to take action against her for harassing dating couples on her show "Subha Savera Maya Khan Ke Saath".
In response to numerous complaints against Khan over the week, Samaa's chairman Zafar Siddiqi wrote in an email today: "We asked Maya to apologise unconditionally which she did not. The CEO asked her to do that on Friday which she refused".
Siddiqi, also the founder of CNBC Africa and CNBC Pakistan, said Khan and her team would "receive termination notices" on January 30 and her show would be stopped the same day.
Khan initially refused to apologise for her show against dating, in which she was seen asking couples to prove they were married by showing their 'nikaahnama' or marriage certificate.
Samaa subsequently aired a formal apology for the show and beamed a short clip in which Khan said she had never intended to hurt anyone.
Many noted that Khan had shown no remorse for her actions. She was also quoted by the media as saying that the "elite" who do not watch her show were the ones objecting to it.
Media analysts said Khan's actions were probably driven by the race for ratings among Pakistan's dozens of TV channels.
Some NGOs highlighted the lack of media regulations and said they intended to approach the courts to take action against Samaa TV.
Khan invited the wrath of hundreds of Pakistanis when she and her team tried to drill moral sense into young couples dating in parks.
She chased couples along with a posse of young and not-so-young women and two "analysts" who gave insight into the dating behaviour of couples and commented on their body language.
While most couples made good their escape seeing a horde of women approach them, some countered them bravely.
"Do your parents know that you are here?" Maya Khan asked a couple perched on a bench.
"Do you know what people think of couples who date like this? Do you know how bad it is for the reputation of girls to be seen like this?" she charged.
Samaa chairman Siddiqi said he hoped the action taken by his channel against Khan would settle the issue. But media analysts said the episode had only highlighted the need for self-regulation by Pakistan's news and entertainment channels.