According to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra), “today, a ban has been imposed on coverage of any party, person, or organisation.” The Pemra also prohibited television networks from covering any party, person, or organisation in real time during rallies or other public gatherings.
The restriction order, according to Pemra, prohibits any procession or rally from taking place today at the Islamabad judicial complex, where Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan is scheduled to appear.
The electronic media regulator stated that it has been noted with worry that satellite TV channels are presenting live footage and photos of a violent mob, attacks on police and law enforcing agencies, and a prohibition order on live coverage under Section 27 of the Pemra Ordinance 2001.
“After a recent incident between political party activists and law enforcement agencies in Lahore, where a violent mob used petrol bombs to wound defenceless policeman and set police vehicles on fire, such footages/images were shown on TV screens without any editorial control. The live transmission of these recordings on many satellite TV stations caused confusion and concern among the people and the authorities.”
According to the Pemra letter, such mob involvement jeopardises not only the state of law and order but also puts lives and public property at risk.
The media regulator claimed that airing such material is against a ruling by Pakistan’s Supreme Court.
The competent authority hereby prohibits live or recorded coverage of any rally, public gathering, or procession by any party, organisation, individual, etc. for today, March 18, 2023, which includes the judicial complex, Islamabad, in accordance with the authority granted by Section 26(a) of the Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by the Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007.
The regulator issued a warning that, in the event of non-compliance, the licence will be suspended pursuant to Section 30(3) of the Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by the Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007 in the public interest and other permissive legal requirements.