PEMRA prohibits live coverage ahead of Imran Khan’s court appearance in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) issued a notification on Monday banning live and recorded coverage of rallies and public gatherings in Islamabad ahead of former prime minister Imran Khan’s court appearance in the capital.

PEMRA said the ban will cover public meetings and rallies in the Islamabad area for March 27, and that the licenses of satellite TV channels will be revoked for violating the instructions.

According to the notification, the live broadcast of violent mobs and attacks on law enforcement agencies is likely to spread chaos and panic.

“Such footage or images were seen on TV without any editorial oversight during the recent standoff between political party workers and law enforcement agencies in Lahore and Islamabad wherein, the violent mob used petrol bombs, injuring armless policemen and blazing police vehicles,” it claimed.

The regulator added the telecast of such footage on different TV stations “created chaos and panic” among viewers and the police. “Such activism by mob not only jeopardises law and order situation but also makes public properties and lives vulnerable”, it cautioned.

Khan, the chairman of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), departed for Islamabad to seek interim bail in five cases related to vandalism in the judicial complex. The decision was made during a meeting with party leadership and the legal team, presided over by Khan himself.

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