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Pak TV Channels Barred From Airing Imran Khan’s Speeches: Media Watchdog 4/5 (1)

Pak TV Channels Barred From Airing Imran Khan's Speeches: Media Watchdog

Airing such content was prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order, it said. (File)


Pakistan's electronic media watchdog on Saturday prohibited television channels from broadcasting or rebroadcasting ousted premier Imran Khan's speeches or media talks, saying airing such content would likely to create hatred among the people and endanger national security.

The Pakistan Electronic Media and Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) warned that it will suspend the broadcasting licence in case of any violation.

"In case of any violation, the observed licence may be suspended ... without any show-cause notice in the public interest along with other enabling provisions of law," it said in a notification.

It also said that Imran Khan during his long march speeches and a day ago in an address from hospital "made aspersions against the state institutions by levelling baseless allegations for orchestrating an assassination plan".

The media watchdog said that airing such content violated several laws and was likely to create "hatred among the people" or was prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order or was likely to disturb public peace and tranquillity or endanger national security.

Imran Khan, 70, suffered a bullet injury in the right leg when two gunmen fired a volley of bullets at him in the Wazirabad area of Punjab province on Thursday, where he was leading a protest march against the Shehbaz Sharif government.

Mr Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, alleged in his address to the nation on Friday from hospital that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Major General Faisal Naseer were part of a sinister plot to assassinate him in the same way as former Punjab governor Salman Taseer was killed in 2011 by a religious extremist.

Prime Minister Shehbaz demanded Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Umar Ata Bandial constitute a "full court commission" to probe the allegations levelled by Khan.

He said Mr Khan is a "liar from head to toe" and is trying his best to destroy Pakistan.

The Pakistan Army has also dismissed the ousted premier's remarks as "absolutely unacceptable".

"The baseless allegations hurled at the institution/officials today are highly regrettable and strongly condemned," it said.

This is the second time that PEMRA took action against the airing of Khan's speeches.

In August, the same regulator had imposed a ban on broadcasting Mr Khan's live speeches on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect.

However, in September, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) overturned the ban.

Since he was ousted from power in April, the cricketer-turned politician has repeatedly claimed that the no-trust motion against him was the result of a "foreign conspiracy".

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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