Government orders PEMRA to revoke ban on Imran Khan’s speeches 

The federal government on Saturday ordered the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to immediately lift the ban on airing PTI chairman Imran Khan’s talks.

According to Section 5 of the PEMRA Ordinance of 2002, the government has rescinded the prohibition.

Minister of Information Marriyum Aurangzeb stated that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had destroyed the “bitter traditions” of the Imran era and built a new one.

The minister maintained that the incumbent administration would not resort to the measures Khan adopted against PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif and vice president Maryam Nawaz.

“We believe in democratic principles and the right to free speech under the Constitution. Imran Khan will say anything against political opponents “Aurangzeb stated, elaborating that Khan’s fans must become aware of the reality of his disorder and mischief.

The minister referred to the leader of the PTI as a “fascist” and stated, “We have democratic thought.”

Previously, PEMRA prohibited all satellite TV channels from airing or reairing Imran Khan’s speeches and press conferences.

According to a notification issued by the regulatory authorities, Khan, during his long march statements the previous day, “cast aspersions on the state institutions by leveling unsubstantiated charges of plotting an assassination.”

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It stated that broadcasting such content was likely to incite “hate among the people or was harmful to maintaining law and order or was likely to disturb public peace and tranquility or endanger national security.”

The PEMRA stated that this was a grave breach of Article 19 of the Constitution, Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance of 2002, and the Electronic Media Code of Conduct of 2015.

The warning stated, “In the event of a violation, the observed license may be suspended… without a show-cause notice in the public interest and in accordance with all other applicable legal provisions.”

In response to PEMRA’s prohibition, the Pakistan Broadcasters Association (PBA) indicated that it would consider its legal alternatives and act appropriately after speaking with its members and attorneys.

The Association of Electronic Media Editors and News Directors condemned the PEMRA’s decision. It challenged the restriction because the First Amendment protects the freedom of expression for all citizens.