ARY TV, a private news channel in Pakistan, has been removed from broadcasting today due to its airing of a speech made by former Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday. This action was taken after Pakistan's media regulator, PEMRA, banned the broadcasting of speeches by the ousted prime minister on Sunday night.
In the past, the broadcaster has faced similar actions.
The ban was put in place after the Islamabad Police were unable to arrest the 70-year-old politician, and satellite television channels were prohibited from airing both live and recorded speeches.
Khan spreading hate through his speeches: PEMRA
A message indicating the ban is displayed on the screen, making ARY, which is believed to be supportive of Khan, unavailable at present.
The PEMRA order, suspending the broadcaster, said: “It has been observed that Mr Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in his speeches/statements is continuously... levelling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions and officers which is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order and is likely to disturb public peace and tranquillity."
According to the news agency PTI, it was reported that broadcasting of defamatory, malicious, and unjustifiable remarks against state institutions was deemed a clear infringement of Article 19 of the Constitution and a verdict of the Supreme Court.
“Therefore, the competent authority i.e. Chairman PEMRA...hereby prohibits broadcast/rebroadcast of speech(s)/press talks (recorded or live) of Mr Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect.”
Under Clause 17 of the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015, the regulator instructed all satellite TV channels to establish unbiased editorial boards to ensure that their platforms are not employed to broadcast disparaging remarks against state institutions.
PEMRA cautioned that TV channels would have their licenses suspended if they failed to comply with the directive.
Not the first time PEMRA action against Imran Khan
This is not the first instance where PEMRA has taken action against Khan. The agency had previously banned the broadcast and re-broadcast of speeches and press conferences of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader in November of last year. However, the ban was overturned by the federal government on the same day.
On Sunday, the Islamabad Police attempted to arrest Imran Khan with a non-bailable arrest warrant in Lahore, as he had missed multiple court appearances. However, he was not present at his home at the time. Later, he delivered a scathing speech outside his home, which was aired by the news channel, resulting in its suspension.
(To receive our E-paper on WhatsApp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)