The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) recently issued a notification that forbade television networks from airing PTI Chairman Imran Khan‘s live remarks. The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has since stayed that order.
The notification was put on hold until September 5 by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah, who also stated that the regulatory body “does not have the authority” to make such instructions.
At the hearing, which was presided over by the IHC CJ, lawyers Ali Zafar defended Khan. The PTI attorney made the case that Khan intended to host a live telethon later today to raise money for flood victims.
The IHC Chief Justice listened to the arguments, postponed the notification, and sent notices to Ashtar Ausaf Ali, the Pakistani Attorney General, as well as the regulating body.
After the PTI chairman threatened state institutions and elected politicians with dire repercussions, the PEMRA ban was put into effect on August 21.
According to PEMRA’s notification, Khan’s addresses are blatantly in breach of both the regulations of the regulator and Article 19 of the Pakistani Constitution.
The restriction was implemented, claims the regulator, in accordance with Section 27 of the PEMRA Ordinance 2002. Khan’s address at the F9 Park in Islamabad was highlighted in the PEMRA announcement as justification for the ban.
Along with the suspension, Khan is also dealing with contempt of court charges for threatening Zeba Chaudhry, an additional district and sessions judge, during the same address.
The former prime minister has been served with a summons to appear in court on August 31 by the IHC, which has convened a five-member bigger bench to hear the contempt of court case against him.