The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Saturday prohibited the broadcast and re-broadcast of speeches and press conferences of former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect, a press release stated.
The statement said that airing "hateful, slanderous, vilifying and unwarranted statements" against the country’s leadership and state institutions is in sheer violation of Article 19 of the Constitution.
It said that Imran Khan has made aspersions against the state institutions by levelling baseless allegations for orchestrating an assassination plan.
"Contents of his speeches are being rebroadcast on various TV channels in their talk shows and news bulletins without any editorial oversight," it observed.
PEMRA said that airing of such content was likely to create hatred among the people or is prejudicial to maintenance of law and order or is likely to disturb public peace and tranquillity or endangers national security and it is a serious violation of Article 19 of the Constitution and Section 27 of PEMRA Ordinance 2002 as well as Electronic Media Code of Conduct 2015.
It warned the licence of a TV channel can be suspended in case of violation without any show cause notice in the public interest along with other enabling provisions of law.
Addressing the nation first time after narrowly escaping an assassination attempt during the party’s long march in Punjab’s Wazirabad, Imran on Friday had asked his party workers and supporters to continue protesting until three “accused” — prime minister, interior minister and an army officer — resign from their post.
Imran said to ensure an impartial and fair probe it was necessary for the three top officials to step down as “all agencies are under their control”.
He also asked the army chief to make the senior military official resign whom he accused of being involved in the assassination attempt.
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“This general is taking country towards destruction,” Imran said while alleging that the same military official was behind the torture on PTI leaders Shahbaz Gill and Azam Swati.
Imran maintained that it was incumbent upon the army chief to take action against the “black sheep to save country from disintegration”.
He said country’s biggest political party was being pushed against the wall and attempts were being made to kill him.
“We have not learned anything from the past like the East Pakistan incident. I knew that they would try to kill me when I was leaving for long march,” he said.
Imran said the conspirators decided to kill him as they were wary of his long march and added that he had received reports about his assignation plot from the government officials beforehand.
“Establishment was taken aback when they saw that the people this time [in April] did not support their decision to topple my government,” he said.
Imran said establishment is not aware of the ground realities. “Despite knowing that the people are not ready to accept this imported government, they [establishment] are bent on enforcing their decision.”
The PTI chief said his workers and supporters were tortured and intimidated during the party’s last long march because establishment had anticipated that the party would “vanish” though such tactics.
“Four people made a decision behind closed doors to kill me and I had told the nation beforehand. That’s why I had recorded a video naming all four [conspirators].”
Imran said three people — Shehbaz Sharif, Rana Sanaullah and a military official — were behind his assassination plot.
“Would you allow this military official to be probed in this case,” Imran asked COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa. He also asked the army chief to take action against the senior army officer to protect the dignity of the institution.
"Consequently, after analysing above mentioned content of the speeches made by Mr Imran Khan aired by various satellite TV channels, it has been observed that the licensees have been failed to comply with the orders of the Hon’ble Courts, and to use delay mechanism effectively and to ensure effective Editorial Control, therefore, the competent authority i.e. Chairman PEMRA in view of the above referred reasons, in 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 broadcast and re-broadcast of speech(es)/press conferences of Mr. Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect," the statement from the regulatory body read.