- PEMRA imposed ban for violation of Article 19, and other breaches.
- Authority said nonadherence by media will result in license suspension.
- As per PEMRA, Khan made aspersions against state institutions.
ISLAMABAD: The federal government Saturday directed the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to immediately revoke the ban on broadcasting PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s speeches.
The ban has been revoked after the government ordered the regulator under Section 5 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002.
Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has abolished the “bitter traditions” of Imran’s era and established a new one.
The minister added that the incumbent government would not resort to steps that Khan took against PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif and Vice President Maryam Nawaz.
“We believe in democratic principles and constitutional freedom of speech. Imran Khan says whatever he wants against political opponents,” Aurangzeb said, adding that Khan’s supporters should learn about the reality of his chaos and mischief.
Referring to the PTI chief as a “fascist”, the minister said: “We possess democratic thinking.”
Earlier, PEMRA imposed a ban on all satellite TV channels from broadcasting and rebroadcasting PTI chief Imran Khan’s speeches and press conferences.
According to a notice issued, the regulatory authority said that Khan during his long march speeches a day ago had “made aspersions against the state institutions by levelling baseless allegations for orchestrating an assassination plan”.
It added that airing such content was likely to create “hatred among the people or was prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order or was likely to disturb public peace and tranquillity or endanger national security”.
The PEMRA mentioned that this was a serious violation of Article 19 of the Constitution and Section 27 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as well as the Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015.
“In case of any violation, observed licence may be suspended … without any show-cause notice in the public interest along with other enabling provisions of law,” the notice read.
Following PEMRA’s ban, the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) stated that after consulting its members and lawyers the association will explore its legal options and proceed accordingly.
Condemning the decision taken by the PEMRA, the Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors also rejected the ban saying that the constitution allows all individuals to practice freedom of expression.