Media in every country faces some kind of restrictions or censorship in order to operate within ethical limits. However, In Pakistan we have always witnessed media being silenced for speaking the truth. This is nothing new happened to ARY News this time. ARY family has courageously survived these bans and testing times in the years gone by. Significantly, it is not any form of government that suppresses the freedom of speech, it’s not democracy or dictatorship, it is the mindset in our country that is eroding norms by hushing the media.
As we said, this is not the first time that ARY’s license suspension orders have been released. Soon after the evolution of Satellite channels in Pakistan, the restrictions and boundaries were set for the broadcasters to follow. The censorship on channels also began since then.
2007 – The First Gag on ARY
In November 2007, government of Pakistan asked UAE government to close the Dubai headquarters of ARY for becoming the voice of civil society and lawyer movement.
2014 – Curbs Fall Back
June 2014 came up with suspension for 15 days of ARY News license along with a handsome amount of fine and the reason was given that it has shown malicious statements against the judiciary on one of its talk shows. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued direct orders to Pakistan Electronic and Regulatory Authority (Pemra) for closure of ARY News across the country. Following the orders of the prime minister, Pemra suspended license of ARY News for 15 days along with a fine of Rs 10 million.
This is the third attack on the voice of the nation. PEMRA authority held a meeting on Monday with an intention to teach a lesson to ARY News, for bringing facts before the people. The meeting decided to suspend the license of ARY News for 15 days, in which the controversial PEMRA Chief, Pervez Rathore played a key role.
At the doorstep of independence Quaid-e-Azam addressed the journalist and said:
“If I go wrong, or for that matter, the League goes wrong in any direction of its policy or programme, I want you to criticize it honestly as its friend, in fact, as one whose heart is beating with the Muslim nation.”
We are paying the price of following founder of the nation’s path. Therefore, we rest our case to the nation.