The Shah Family
There is little information available about Syed Sajjad Hussain Shah who founded Apna TV channel. He joined a non-media related family business after his studies and went on to establish ‘the first computer ribbon manufacturing unit in Pakistan.’ He launched the Apna TV Channel (Pvt) Ltd company in April 2004.
He and his nephew Syed Fahad Ali Shah control 100% of shares (equally) in the Apna TV channel private limited. Through this company, in addition to Abb Takk, they run three more channels – the Punjabi-language 24/7 news and current affairs APNA TV and two music channels – 8XM and Jalwa. The channel is seen as “copying” Indian TV channel ‘AajTakk’ down to its logo and most graphic designs.
Apna TV Channel (Private) Limited
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represents the second generation of his family in the media business. He is the nephew of Syed Sajjad Hussain Shah. In addition to being a 50% shareholder in Apna TV Channel Private Limited, Fahad also manages Apna TV channel, which is the leading Punjabi language TV channel in the country. Punjabi is the largest spoken indigenous language in Pakistan with over 90 million native speakers.
An information request was sent to the owner on 15 January 2019 through a courier company as well as by email. However, the outlet did not respond. A reminder was also dispatched through a courier company on 01 February 2019 and also emailed on 04 February 2019. No response to date. A right-to-know (RTI) request was filed with the Sindh Information Department on 14 February 2019 to seek volume of advertisement the Sindh provincial government may have released to the outlet during financial year 2017-18. The Sindh Information department did not respond to the RTI request MOM Pakistan team filed within stipulated 15 days. A complaint was lodged with Sindh Information Commissioner against the Sindh Information Department’s non-compliance with RTI law on 5 March 2019. The Information Commissioner also did not respond to the complaint till 06 May 2019. On the station’s website, the “About Us” button does not work. The telephone number given on its website does not work either. However, information about the company which runs the station is publicly available and it was obtained from Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan. Financial information provided has been obtained from a report the company submitted to the SECP for the financial year that started on July 2010 and ended on June 30, 2011. Audience data was provided by Gallup for the year 2018.