Protestors occupy PTV Bldg; damage equipment, state broadcaster goes off air; Imran, Qadri disown PTV storming

ISLAMABAD, Sept 01 (INP) Hundreds of protesters stormed the state broadcaster, PTV on Monday, entered the main broadcast building and caused damaged to the equipment.

Transmission of the main Pakistani Television (PTV) news channel and PTV World was cut minutes after an anchor announced demonstrators had entered the building and “besieged” staff.

The protesters, many armed with wooden clubs, entered the PTV building shouting anti-government slogans. Reports said that many protestors climbed over the entry gate of the building while others broke it to make entry. Observers described it a major breach of state symbols as occupation of a state run TV or Radio is given wide publicity by the international media.

According to reports, the guards at the main gate were manhandled and several protestors smashed the windowpanes and one of them was shown by private TV channels as breaking an electricity wire.

Army was immediately called which on arrival got the building vacated from the uncontrolled gathering.

The anti-government protesters ransacked the offices and held staff members hostage.

The entire vandalism at the PTV was shown by private TV channels and the media community including the Pakistan Broadcaster Association (PBA) condemned the incident.

Both Khan and Qadri appeared on the shipping containers they have used as stages to urge their supporters to vacate the building. But their appeal came when the army had already cleared the building. The Pakistan army after taking control of PTV building restored the transmission.

 

Imran Khan tweeted that PTI has not stormed the PTV building.

Disowning the act, the PTI chief said that the workers have been very peaceful throughout the protest.

 

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) spokesperson Dr Shireen Mazari said that the attack on the Pakistan Television (PTV) network building was unacceptable, adding that those involved in the attack should be punished.

 

Following the shut down, the Interior Minister also directed law enforcement agencies to immediately restore the transmission of PTV. Chaudhry Nisar said strict action should be taken against those trying to take law into their own hands.

Managing Director of Pakistan Television (PTV) Mohammad Malik, talking to a private TV channel, said cameras worth hundreds of thousands of rupees were stolen from the headquarters, and protesters also damaged cables inside the office.

He said that PTV was not the government’s but the state’s representative.

Pakistan Muslim League (PML-N) leader Marvi Memon said that the attack on PTV building was unacceptable, adding that the solution to every problem lied in dialogue.

 

INP

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