April 1, 2023

The media regulator bars TV channels from broadcasting the previous prime minister’s speeches and information conferences.

Pakistan’s media regulator has banned tv channels from broadcasting speeches and information conferences by Imran Khan, accusing the previous prime minister of attacking the state’s establishments and selling hatred.

The Pakistan Digital Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) imposed the ban late on Sunday after Khan gave a speech within the jap metropolis of Lahore, the place he alleged that former military chief Common Qamar Javed Bajwa was behind his removing from energy in April final 12 months.

The cricketer-turned-politician made the speech after police from the capital Islamabad made an attempt to arrest him in a corruption case. Khan, who denies the fees, evaded the arrest.

In its notification, the PEMRA mentioned Khan was “levelling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech by means of his provocative statements in opposition to state establishments and officers which is prejudicial to the upkeep of regulation and order and is prone to disturb public peace and tranquillity”.

This was the third time the PEMRA has banned TV channels from airing Khan’s statements since he misplaced the premiership and began holding mass rallies to demand speedy nationwide elections.

Practically two hours after the ban, the media regulator additionally suspended the license of ARY Newsa non-public information channel, for broadcasting Khan’s Lahore speech.

The PEMRA mentioned the information channel – thought of sympathetic to Khan – violated its order.

The Human Rights Fee of Pakistan condemned the regulator’s determination to ban the airing of Khan’s speeches on digital media.

“We have now all the time opposed measures to curb voices up to now – whether or not underneath the earlier authorities or earlier – and we proceed to face by our dedication to freedom of speech, regardless of the particular person’s political opinion,” it mentioned in a press release, demanding that the ban be “lifted instantly”.

Paris-based media watchdog Reporters With out Borders (RSF) final 12 months ranked Pakistan 157 amongst 180 nations in its World Press Freedom Index listing.

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