Pakistan Suspends Private TV Channel For Airing Imran Khan’s Speech

Islamabad: Within hours of banning television channels from broadcasting speeches and news conferences by Imran Khan, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) suspended the licence of ARY News for broadcasting the former prime minister’s Lahore speech.

Accusing Imran of attacking the state’s institutions and promoting hatred, Pakistan’s media regulator imposed the ban late on Sunday after the ex-PM delivered a speech in Lahore where he alleged that former army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa was behind his removal from power last April, Al Jazeera reported.

PEMRA decided to suspend ARY News – which is considered sympathetic to Imran – as the TV channel violated its order.

An ARY official, however, rejected the allegation.

“The PEMRA statement came after 8 pm and almost all the channels ran clippings of Imran Khan’s speech in their 9 pm bulletins. However, the regulatory authority suspended only our licence,” Al Jazeera quoted the official as saying.

This is the third time PEMRA has banned TV channels from broadcasting Imran’s statements since he started holding mass rallies to demand immediate national elections after being unseated from the PM’s chair.

PEMRA said in a notification that Imran was “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”.

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