Home / News / India /  Imran Khan’s live speeches now banned from satellite TV channels in Pakistan

Hours after former prime minister Imran Khan made harsh remarks and attacked state institutions while speaking at a rally in Islamabad, Pakistan's electronic media authority has forbidden satellite television channels from airing his live addresses.

On August 20, Khan threatened to bring lawsuits against high-ranking police officers, a female magistrate, the Pakistan Election Commission, and political rivals in response to the treatment of his assistant Shahbaz Gill, who was detained last week on sedition-related allegations.

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In a statement released on Saturday, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) said that despite repeated warnings, television networks had not implemented a time-delay system to halt the broadcast of content critical of "state institutions."

"It has been observed that Mr 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," it said.

Khan's speeches, according to the regulator, violated Article 19 of the Constitution and the media code of conduct.

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"The competent authority i.e. Chairman PEMRA in view of the above mentioned background and 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 of live speech of Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect," it added.

However, PEMRA stated that in order to assure monitoring and editorial control, Khan's taped address would only be allowed to be aired after an efficient delay mechanism. The PTI party responded angrily to the PTI chairman's ban, calling Shehbaz Sharif's administration a fascist one.

“Imported fascists are trying to ban Imran Khan’s speeches on TV. They have lost the battle completely and now using fascism; they will fail! #HelpPakistan by raising our voices against fascists!," Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party said in a tweet.

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The rally on August 20 was organised by PTI to express solidarity with Gill and stage a protest against what Khan claimed was “blatant fascism" prevalent under the “imported regime" of prime minister Shehbaz Sharif.

In a covert allusion to the coalition government, Khan referred to the Pakistani Army during the rally as "neutrals" and asked his followers to support the country rather than the "gang of thieves." The 69-year-old also attacked the judiciary, branding it "biassed".

While Khan's jab has gone unanswered by the Pakistan Army, political parties including the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan Peoples Party, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl, and Mutahida Quami Movement Pakistan have asked the judiciary to take legal action against Khan and his associates for intimidating a female judge and police officers.

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Meanwhile, Khan has announced that he will speak at a rally on August 21 at Rawalpindi's Liaquat Bagh grounds. Khan, a former cricketer who became a politician, has insisted time and time again that a "foreign conspiracy" was to blame for his removal from office in April.

Additionally, Khan has made it clear that his party will not cooperate with or recognise the "imported government" led by Prime Minister Sharif.

(With PTI inputs)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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