The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued an order prohibiting Pakistani TV channels from broadcasting speeches, press conferences, and statements made by former prime minister Imran Khan. The order warns all state-run and private TV channels against violating the ban under Section 27 of the PEMRA, 2002 Ordinance.
According to the PEMRA, Imran Khan, who is the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has been making false accusations against state institutions during his speeches. This is considered to be prejudiced to the maintenance of law and order, and is likely to disturb public peace and tranquility.
The decision was made hours after Imran Khan addressed party workers outside his Zaman Park residence in Lahore. During his speech, he stated that he had never “bowed before any man or institution,” and that he would never allow his followers to do so either.
The PEMRA also directed all satellite TV channels to ensure that an impartial editorial board is established to prevent anyone from making remarks in any manner that is contemptuous and against any state institution. This is considered to be hateful and prejudicial to the law and order situation in the country.
Fawad Chaudhry, a leader of the PTI, called the ban a nefarious attempt by the government to suppress Imran Khan’s voice. He stated that the party would challenge the ban in court, and also urged the media to challenge the order.