The suspension of ARY News transmission is being widely condemned in Pakistan. Citizens are calling the move a draconian measure that goes against court orders.
Sunday, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) suspended the licence of the ARY News for broadcasting PTI chief Imran Khan’s statement in the headline slot of 9:00 pm.
PEMRA took the action after issuing a notice that it completely banned broadcasting live and recorded speeches of Imran Khan. In its notification, the media watchdog directed all the TV channels to refrain from airing Imran Khan’s live or recorded statements, speeches, and conversations.
As a result, PEMRA suspended ARY’s licence. Meanwhile, other television channels also aired Imran Khan’s statement, but apparently discriminatory action was taken against the ARY News by the electronic media authority. Therefore, the move is being widely condemned.
“Prohibition order by PEMRA, suspending broadcast of ARY on account allegedly playing clips of Imran Khan, is illegal, unconstitutional and abuse of process. The order has passed without following due process envisaged under the Constitution and PEMRA Order 02,” renowned lawyer Muhammad Ahmad Pansota said.
Prohibition Order by @reportpemra, suspending broadcast of @ARYNEWSOFFICIAL on account allegedly playing clips of @ImranKhanPTI, is illegal, unconstitutional and abuse of process. The order has passed without following due process envisaged under the Constitution and PEMRA Ord 02 pic.twitter.com/U0ukxPj42q
— Muhammad Ahmad Pansota (@Pansota1) March 5, 2023
“Yet another draconian act by the PDM government. Pakistan’s largest News Channel ARY News license suspended by PEMRA for airing Imran Khan’s speech. Courts have repeatedly denounced fascist acts of PEMRA but unfortunately, vendetta continues against freedom of speech,” ARY sports correspondent Shah Khalid said.
Yet another draconian act by the PDM government. Pakistan’s largest News Channel #ARYNEWS license suspended by PEMRA for airing @ImranKhanPTI speech. Courts have repeatedly denounced fascist acts of PEMRA but unfortunately vendetta continues against #freedomofspeech @Salman_ARY pic.twitter.com/JxPDpm0okH
— Shah Khalid Khan Hamdani (@ShahKhalidARY) March 5, 2023
“Strongly condemn the suspension of license of ARY News. This fascist government has done the worst media crackdown. Freedom of the press has been restricted. Neither journalists nor TV channels are safe from the evil of the imported government,” PTI leader Farrukh Habib said.
ARY نیوز کے لائسنس کو معطل کرنے کی شدید مذمت کرتے ہے۔ اس فاشسٹ حکومت نے بدترین میڈیا کریک ڈاؤن کیا ہے۔ آزادی صحافت پر قدغن لگا دی گئی ہے۔ امپورٹڈ حکومت کے شر سے نہ صحافی محفوظ ہے نہ TV چینلز محفوظ ہے pic.twitter.com/ueB5aG7aH6
— Farrukh Habib (@FarrukhHabibISF) March 5, 2023
“First ban on Imran Khan and now ARY off. ARY has been abused a lot in all these months. ARY has been shut down again today. How many people’s livelihood is linked to a channel? I have never seen such restrictions on speaking in Pakistan. Condemnation of this act isn’t enough,” Dr Shahbaz Gill from PTI said.
پہلے خان پر پابندی اور اب ARY بند۔
ARY کے ساتھ ان سارے مہینوں میں بہت زیادتی ہوئی ہے۔ آج ایک بار پھر ARY بند کر دیا گیا ہے۔ ایک چینل کے ساتھ کتنے لوگوں کی زوزی روٹی وابستہ ہے۔ بولنے پر اتنی پابندی تو پہلے کبھی نہیں دیکھی پاکستان میں۔ اس حرکت کی جتنی بھی مذمت کی جائے کم ہے۔ pic.twitter.com/YWG89XBt10
— Dr. Shahbaz GiLL (@SHABAZGIL) March 5, 2023
Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) also strongly condemned the suspension of ARY News transmission. PFUJ President Afzal Butt said the PEMRA is ‘violating’ the laws. He warned PEMRA to correct its mistake or else the PFUJ will initiate a countrywide protest.