Pakistan’s electronic media watchdog on Saturday banned satellite television channels from broadcasting live coverage of events outside the Islamabad court where former prime minister Imran Khan is set to appear in a corruption case against him.
Khan, 70, who heads the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, is scheduled to appear in the court of Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADSJ) Zafar Iqbal to participate in the proceedings on the complaint filed by the Election Commission. Commission on Pakistan (ECP) for allegedly hiding details of gifts in his asset declarations.
In the advisory issued on Saturday, the Pakistan The Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) said it has observed with concern that satellite TV channels are showing live footage and images of violent mobs, and attacks on police and law enforcement agencies.
“Such footage/pictures were seen on TV screens without any editorial oversight during the recent standoff between political party workers and law enforcement agencies in Lahore, in which a violent mob used petrol bombs, unarmed Injured policemen and torched police vehicles. Such live telecast footage on various satellite TV channels created chaos and panic among the viewers and the police.”
The PEMRA letter states that such activism by mobs not only endangers the law and order situation but also renders public properties and lives unsafe.
Transmission of such material violates a judgment Supreme Court of Pakistanthe media regulator said.
Referring to the clashes between PTI workers and law enforcement personnel outside Khan’s Zaman Park residence, PEMRA said in a statement that it “noticed with concern” that satellite TV channels were “showing live footage of violent clashes”. ” Mobs, attacks on police and law enforcement agencies.”
In its order, PEMRA said it has prohibited live/recorded coverage of any rally, public meeting or procession by any party, organization and individual on March 18, including at the Judicial Complex, Islamabad.
Also read: Pak police starts ‘major operation’ at former PM Imran Khan’s residence in Lahore
The regulator further said that in case of non-compliance of the order, the license will be suspended.
Khan has been in the crosshairs for buying gifts, including an expensive Graff wristwatch, which he obtained as a premier at a discounted price from a state depository called Toshakhana, and selling them for a profit.
Khan was ousted from power in April last year after losing a no-confidence vote, which he alleged was part of a US-led conspiracy targeting him because of his independent foreign policy decisions on Russia, China and Afghanistan .
Since his ouster, Khan has been fighting for immediate elections to oust the “imported government” led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Sharif has said that elections will be held later this year after the completion of the five-year term of the parliament.
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