Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has directed electronic media and private TV channels to refrain from airing content that is against state institutions, namely the army and the judiciary.
According to the notice, the organization stated that it had been observed that certain satellite TV channels have been airing content that casts aspersions against state institutions, namely the Armed Forces and the Judiciary, an act which is in violation of regulations set forth by the authority.
PEMRA issues directives for private electronic media to refrain from airing content against state institutions. pic.twitter.com/fXEg2NDRCm
— Report PEMRA (@reportpemra) May 9, 2022
The notice mentioned that although freedom of speech and expression is the fundamental right of every Pakistani citizen, this right is subject to ‘reasonable restrictions’ imposed by the law, in the interest of several items such as the glory of Islam or the security, defense and integrity of Pakistan.
It also called for the implementation of a ‘Time Delay Mechanism’ and the constitution of an impartial Editorial board to ensure that the platform of these TV channels isn’t being used for disrespectful remarks against state institutions.
This notice was issued a day after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairperson and ousted prime minister Imran Khan’s rally in Abbottabad, where he attacked the army and alluded to the Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa being similar to the historic traitor of the subcontinent, Mir Jaffar.
Today, during a National Assembly session, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif urged the assembly to condemn and curb the PTI chairperson’s ‘aggressive speech’ against state institutions, and a resolution was passed condemning Khan’s anti-army vitriol.