Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf challenges PEMRA decision to ban live speeches of former PM Imran Khan – Times of India

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) challenged the ban imposed by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Chairman and former Prime Minister Imran Khan‘s live speeches.
Terming the ban, a violation of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution, petitioner PTI Sindh President Ali Zaidi said, “The PEMRA notification should be quashed as it is against the basic fundamental rights.”
On August 21, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) slapped a ban on broadcasting live speeches of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on all TV channels with immediate effect, ARY News reported.
PEMRA in its press release said: “It has been observed that Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in his speeches/statements is continuously alleging state institutions by levelling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions and officers which is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order and is likely to disturb public peace and tranquillity.”
The media watchdog, however, said that the recorded speeches of the former PM would only be permitted to be aired after an effective delay mechanism was put in place in order to ensure effective monitoring and editorial control in conformity with the PEMRA laws, the Frontier Post reported.
“Furthermore, all satellite TV channels are directed to ensure that an impartial and independent Editorial Board be constituted as required under Clause 17 of Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015 in order to ensure that their platform is not used by anyone for uttering remarks in any manner which are contemptuous and against any state institution and hateful, prejudicial to law and order situation in the country (in any manner even repeatedly in programs, talk shows, news bulletins),” the statement read.
It warned of legal action as per PEMRA laws in case of any violation of the directives.
Earlier, the PEMRA had issued the prohibition order on the telecast of live speeches of Imran Khan under section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA ( Amendment) Act 2007.
The media regulatory authority said that after analyzing the content of Imran’s speech, it has been observed that the content was aired live by the license holder channels without an effective time delay mechanism which was a violation of provisions of PEMRA laws and in disobedience of judgments passed by the honourable courts.
“The competent authority i.e. Chairman PEMRA in view of the above-mentioned background and reasons, in the exercise of delegated powers of the Authority vested in Section 27(a) of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as amended by PEMRA (Amendment) Act 2007, hereby prohibits the broadcast of live speech of Mr Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect,” it said.