KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday opposed suspension of ARY NEWS transmission in the country and said that he was against a ban on transmission of any news channel in the country.
Speaking to media alongside provincial health minister while initiating an anti-polio drive in the province, Murad Ali Shah said that no channel should be shut down and they will continue to offer their support for the freedom of speech.
“Top PPP leaders Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto have always supported the freedom of speech,” he said, adding that no journalists should be banned in the country.
He, however, said the journalists and media houses should also ensure implementation upon the Constitution and laws.
It is pertinent to mention here that the transmission of ARY News has still not been restored despite orders from Sindh High Court (SHC) to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) and cable operators.
ARY News – the country’s most popular channel – was victimized after the channel aired a report that the ruling PML-N has reportedly activated its ‘strategic media cell’ to malign Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its chairman Imran Khan.
Viewers in different areas of the country are unable to watch ARY News on their cables. Journalist organizations have protested against the government’s move and demanded to immediately restore the transmission of ARY News.
Meanwhile, a contempt of court petition against Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority will be heard in Sindh High Court (SHC) today.
‘Strategic media cell’
The suspension of ARY News transmission is a clear violation of Islamabad High Court (IHC) orders which barred PEMRA from closure and relegation of ARY News to lower numbers on TV channels sequence.
The suspension of transmission comes hours after ARY News aired a report that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has reportedly activated its strategic media cell to malign Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and its chairman Imran Khan besides building a narrative to prove the rival as an anti-armed forces power.
The report aired by ARY News on June 27 regarding the activation of the ruling PML-N’s strategic media cell proved to be true. It emerged that the PML-N activated its strategic media cell to run a malicious campaign against Imran Khan and PTI to prove it was an anti-military or anti-armed forces party.
It is pertinent to mention here in a new move against the journalist fraternity, the Ministry of Interior cancelled the NOC of ARY News without serving any notice.
The coalition government led by Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) taken one more step toward the economic murder of the journalist fraternity by cancelling the NOC without issuing any show-cause notice.
Two days earlier, the Sindh High Court (SHC) suspended the Interior Ministry’s notification of cancellation of ARY News no-objection certificate (NOC).