Imran Khan’s speeches banned on Pakistani channels

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According to the authority, airing of “baseless allegations, hateful, slanderous and unwarranted statement” against state institutions and officers was in sheer violation of Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan and a judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) passed in a Suo Moto Case.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has imposed a ban on broadcasting “live and recorded” speeches and press conferences of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect, Pakistan based TV Network ARY News reported on Sunday.

“It has been observed that Imran Khan [Chairman PTI] in his speeches/statements is continuously alleging state institutions by 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,” the PEMRA said.

According to PEMRA, airing of “baseless allegations, hateful, slanderous and unwarranted statement” against state institutions and officers was in sheer violation of Article 19 of the Constitution of Pakistan and a judgment of the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC) passed in a Suo Moto case.

The authority further said that after analysing the content of Imran’s speech, it has been observed that the content was aired live by the licensees without an effective time delay mechanism which is a violation provision of Pemra laws and in disobedience of judgements passed by the courts.

“The competent authority i.e., Chairman PEMRA in view of the above-mentioned background and reasons, in the exercise of delegated powers of the Authority vested in Section 27(a) of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007, hereby prohibits the broadcast of live speech of Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect,” the authority added, according to ARY News.

PEMRA further directed all satellite TV channels to ensure that an impartial Editorial Board is constituted as required under Clause 17 of the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015 in order to ensure that their platform is not used by anyone for uttering remarks in any manner “which are contemptuous and against any state institution and hateful, prejudicial to law and order situation”.

It warned of legal action as per PEMRA laws in case of any violation of the directives.

Stating that “those in power” were behind the Wazirabad assassination attempt on him, Imran Khan on Sunday particularly named Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and an intelligence official, Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported.

Khan was attacked in Wazirabad on November 23 while he was leading the “Azadi March” against the PML-N demanding snap polls. The law enforcement agencies arrested suspect Naveed Meher from the site of the attack, and the probe into the assassination attempt is on.

Addressing PTI loyalists, Khan said he had never “bowed before any man or institution, and will never let you do so as well”, Pakistan-based Dawn newspaper reported.

The PTI chief was addressing his party workers and supporters at his Zaman Park residence in Lahore despite being “unavailable” to the police present outside to arrest him.

Khan said he had called the public to Zaman Park to pay tribute to them for the way they participated in the ‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’ (court arrest movement). “I did not call you for my support but to thank you,” he added.

He said “only a nation, and not a group” could confront the challenges being faced by the country.