Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has issued yet another warning to television channels against airing content that ‘insults’ and is critical of state institutions, particularly the military and the judiciary.
The notice issued by the media watchdog today (Monday) said that it had directed TV channels and media outlets to be careful of not airing anti-state content during talk shows, news bulletins, and coverage of political rallies.
The statement said that in the past too, the organization had issued warnings urging networks to follow PEMRA guidelines and refrain from airing slanderous campaign against state institution, as the airing of such content would be considered propaganda.
“In case of any intentional/unintentional violation committed, PEMRA law shall be invoked, leading to prohibition of programmes/talk shows under Section 27 without any notice,” the statement read, adding that an additional punishment of a Rs 1 million fine under Section 29, as well as the closure of transmission under Section 30 would also be imposed.
PEMRA issued a similar order around a week ago, when it first issued a warning to television networks to avoid airing slanderous and malicious campaigns against the judiciary and the armed forces.
The first warning 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 made thinly veiled references about Siraj-ud-Daula, the Mughal governor who was betrayed by his commander in chief Mir Jaffar.
Following Khan’s speech, the National Assembly passed a resolution condemning Imran Khan’s ‘aggressive speeches’, saying they could lead to civil unrest and anarchy in the country.