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PML-N govt bars access to ARY?

According to reports, ARY has been taken off cable in many areas of Islamabad, Karachi, and Sukkur. Interestingly, the government's alleged media crackdown comes ahead of PTI's Azadi March scheduled for 25th May.

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It appears that the PML-N government is charged against PTI as it allegedly bars access to one of Pakistan’s most popular media channels, ARY.

Important to note that ARY has been actively providing media coverage to former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his party, PTI.

According to multiple reports, ARY has been either been blocked in certain areas or its channel place has been downgraded. Several people claimed that ARY has been taken off cable in many areas of Islamabad, Karachi, and Sukkur.

Read more: PML-N govt criticised for spending on ‘media appeasement’

Meanwhile, Nayatel, which is an internet service and streaming platform, has allegedly moved ARY from channel 7 to channel 65. To clarify, channels in the top 10 slots are more popularly watched. Meanwhile, channels towards the end have a low viewership. As per reports, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued the order.

“Cheap tricks by the government to stop people getting information on their fascist tactics – ARY News has been moved from channel 7 to channel 65 on Nayatel. Nayatel please explain why you have moved Pakistan’s most popular channel?” Najma Minhas, Editor of Global Village Space tweeted.

Ever since the PML-N government came into power, there have been reports of it launching a crackdown against media channels giving wide coverage to Imran Khan. In April, Salman Iqbal Founder and CEO, of ARY DIGITAL Network, took to social to report the claims that the news channel was taken off the air in various areas of Pakistan.

PML-N’s crackdown

Interestingly, the government’s alleged media crackdown comes ahead of PTI’s Azadi March scheduled for 25th May. Perhaps by blocking ARY, the government is hoping that the public won’t be able to access the channel.

On the other hand, Punjab Police late Monday raided the houses of several PTI leaders, including former energy minister Hammad Azhar, Usman Dar, and Babar Awan.

Read more: Police raid residences of several key PTI leaders

Currently, all eyes are on the PTI Azadi March. According to the latest developments, the PML-N government has decided to stop Imran Khan’s Azadi March in Islamabad. The government has beefed up security in Islamabad. Under the strict security plan, 22,000 security officials will be deployed.