Pakistani authorities suspended mainstream TV channels on Monday. Critics have accused it of being an illegal move to stifle media freedom in the country.
Private cable operators in Pakistan have been ordered by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to immediately block the transmission of ARY news "until further notice."
State regulators later sent a formal "program cause notice" to the station, accusing it of broadcasting "false, hateful and inflammatory content." It went on to claim that ARY News aired a comment by a spokesman for exiled Prime Minister Imran Khan in one of its programs aired in the early hours of Monday, stating that PEMRA "reported military personnel and files to the rebellion."
PEMRA said in the letter: Spreading malice and hatred against state institutions for vested interests. "
Khan-led Pakistan Terekhe His Insaf Party (PTI) has been criticized by Prime Minister Shebaz Sharif's government in his social media his campaign aimed at proving the opposition to be anti-military." accused of sponsoring
The TV channel rejected his PEMRA accusation as illegal, as did legal experts, journalists and PTI leaders.
CEO says he shut down channel for reporting truth
Founder and CEO of his one of Pakistan's most popular channels , Salman Iqbal, tweeted his ARY News: It will be closed simply because it reported a true story.
Attorney and legal analyst Muhammad Ahmad Pansota accused PEMRA of shutting down ARY News without legal justification.
In his tweet, he said that freedom of the press is a constitutionally guaranteed right that cannot be tampered with by anyone, including the state.
Sedition allegations are often used to intimidate and harass media outlets and journalists critical of powerful military institutions, critics say.
Primetime TV anchor Mubasir Zaidi advised the government not to suspend any channel, saying such action violated a recent judicial order. .
"But in this case, the closure happened before the notice, so sooner or later a court will declare the act illegal," Zeid tweeted.
Media watchdogs also suspect the military may be behind the recent incidents. A campaign of intimidation and harassment against journalists in Pakistan — accusations rejected by government and military.
Multiple incidents of threats
Pakistani journalists registered with Pakistan questioned the military's alleged role in state affairs. warned against further media harassment, saying such tactics "would cause serious harm."
“The many cases of harassment registered by the RSF in the last two months have one thing in common: all the journalists involved criticize the military's role in Paki in one way or another. Daniel Bastard, head of RSF's Asia-Pacific desk, said:
Having launched a large-scale campaign, it is clear from the data that this type of interference is absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped immediately or Army Chief of Staff General Kamal Javed Bajwa , will be held directly responsible for the decline in press freedom in Pakistan," Bastard said.
Khan claims that the United States colluded with Sharif and other opposition parties to oust him in an April no-confidence vote in parliament, a claim Washington vehemently denies.
The abdicated prime minister has also been accused of a US-sponsored "regime change" conspiracy against his nearly four-year-old government, allegedly caused by his efforts to pursue Pakistan's foreign policy. He accused military leaders of supporting what he advocated. Independent of Washington's influence.