One of Pakistan’s top news channels, ARY is facing intense backlash for blurring PTI Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s picture in a news story for PTI and IMF meeting.
According to the details, file footage shown on the channel blurred Imran Khan, while the picture of the IMF representative and Shah Mehmood Qureshi was crystal clear.
Pertinent to mention that Pakistan’s media regulator PEMRA had sent out a directive to Pakistan’s news channels. After mentioning the events of 9 May, the directive reminds media channels that they must refrain from providing airtime to individuals who propagate hate speech.
While the directive did not mention the name of Imran Khan, there is “an unannounced ban” on telecasting the political activities and speeches of PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
PEMRA had placed several media bans on Imran Khan throughout the last year, but ARY had refused to comply and provided coverage to the former prime minister, resulting in the suspension of its transmission.
This time around, it seems that ARY has buckled under PEMRA’s pressure as it blurs out Imran Khan. It is getting heavily criticized for it on social media. Right now, #ShameonAry and #boycottARY are trending on top of Twitter in Pakistan.
Undeclared Dictatorship https://t.co/54L4ok7EUi
— Sabir Shakir (@ARYSabirShakir) July 7, 2023
Here is how ARY would likely show winning moments of 1992 World Cup Final; what a fall this TV channel had in a span of 12 months. Hope they get well soon, showed a lot of promise resisting status quo for few months after regime change attempt.
— Jibran Ilyas (@agentjay2009) July 7, 2023
Cricket scorecard. ARY style.
When a ghost decimated India.
Ghost took 8-60, leading Pakistan to a 3-0 victory over India. pic.twitter.com/SnaG3wedHv
— Taimur Khan Jhagra (@Jhagra) July 7, 2023
Amid the backlash, PTI leader Dr Shahbaz Gill refrained from criticizing ARY. He also alleged that ARY is being forced to blur out Imran Khan.
ARY پر تنقید کرنے سے پہلے یہ ضرور سوچیں وہ آپکے ساتھ بہت دور تک چلے ہیں۔ ہر سفر میں ہر ہم سفر آخر تک نہیں چل سکتا۔ جتنا نبھایا اچھا ساتھ نبھایا۔ زرا سی بات پر برسوں کا یارانہ گیا والی بات نہ کریں۔
تنقید کریں لیکن یہ بھی دیکھیں کہ انہوں نے دھندلا چلایا تو آپ نے بات کی۔
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) July 7, 2023
IMF meets Imran Khan
IMF resident representative for Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz visited Zaman Park for meeting his party chief, Imran Khan, while IMF mission chief for Pakistan Nathan Porter joined virtually from Washington.
The PTI team included him, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Shaukat Tarin, Omar Ayub Khan, Sania Nishtar, Shibli Faraz, Taimur Jhagra, and Muzammil Aslam.
The meeting lasted for more than an hour, during which discussions took place around the staff-level agreement that IMF has reached with the Government of Pakistan for a nine-month $3 billion standby arrangement.