ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Sunday ordered the resumption of transmission of all private news channels, ARY News reported.
The media watchdog had ordered all news channels off air, and also barred live coverage of the Islamabad sit-in. News channels were also instructed to ensure the security of their staff during the ongoing law and order situation across the nation.
PEMRA spokesma said that the Code of Conduct had also been sent to the Pakistan Broadcasters Association. However, PEMRA can take action against any rules violations and suspend transmission.
The spokesman said that all news channels have been restored across the nation. PEMRA chairman has also received a notification from the Ministry of Information, and distribution networks have been ordered to restore news channels to their original position.
Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed that transmission of all news channels has been restored after an understanding on code of conduct for reporting.
In a statement, she said the transmission of the news channels was suspended after through deliberations in the best interest of the country to keep law and order situation under control. She said the government is working together for security of the motherland and believes in freedom of expression.
PEMRA had on Saturday barred news channels from live coverage of the Islamabad operation under ‘Media Code of Conduct 2015′ and instructed to show “utmost sensitivity” during its coverage of the operation. “This channel is suspended on orders of Pemra,” read a message appearing on multiple news channels.
The PBA had strongly condemned the closure of news channels by the government. The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and other journalist bodies also expressed concern over the sudden closure of TV channels’ transmission.
Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) also ordered to unblock popular social media sites such such Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and video-sharing websites YouTube and Dailymotion.