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NOC of ARY News cancelled by Interior Ministry

Interior Ministry under Rana Sanaullah canceled the NOC of ARY news, putting thousands of employees out of job, ARY news reported on Friday.

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ARY News is the oldest privately owned news channel of Pakistan with a reputation of credible and responsible reporting. Cancelling NOC of such a news channel is being regarded as an attack on freedom of press. Civil society activists, lawyers, journalists and press unions have condemned the move of the government which has been declared unconstitutional by senior lawyers. The move is being regarded as contempt of court, as the Sindh High Court in its recent decision had ordered to restore the services of ARY news.

ARY News declared the move equivalent to financial murder of its 4000 employees who risk losing their jobs due to this arbitrary decision of Interior Minstry.

Aitzaz Ahsan, a senior barrister and PPP leader, while speaking to ARY News said that the decision is in violation of instructions of Supreme Court of Pakistan which prohibits arbitrary cancellation of NOC. Aitzaz Ahsan further said the decision of Interior Ministry can be challenged in a court of law. He also termed the decision as contempt of court as Sindh High Court recently ordered to restore the coverage of ARY News.

“ARY license canceled. This is purana Pakistan desperately trying to hang on. The tide of history cannot be stopped by coercive illegal measures”, Asad Umar wrote on Twitter.

Read More: Pakistan raises storm over PEMRA’s suspension of ARY channel

President of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists Afzal Butt said that this day and decision will be remembered as the darkest in the history of Pakistan. He further requested the government of Pakistan to refrain from such decisions as it hurts the image of Pakistan globally.

Azhar Siddique, a senior lawyer said that this decision of the Interior Ministry is the worst example of fascism and he demanded Rana Sanaullah to resign immediately.

Babar Awan, a senior lawyer and PTI leader, said that this decision is part of a series of actions by the government to silence dissent. He said that the decision is arbitrary as the due legal procedure was not followed and termed the decision as contempt of court.

Safdar Shaheen, an expert of law, termed the decision as an extreme, unconstitutional and unjustifiable decision.

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