Pakistan bans live telecast of ex-premier Imran Khan’s speeches

Pakistan’s media regulatory watchdog has imposed a ban on live broadcast of speeches by former prime minister Imran Khan.

On Saturday, a statement from Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) accused Khan of hurling “baseless” allegations and threats against state institutions and government officials.

The action came hours after Khan’s fiery speech at a protest meeting in the national capital of Islamabad.

“Whereas, it has been observed that Mr. Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, (PTI) in his speeches/statements is continuously alleging state institutions by leveling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions and officers which is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order and is likely to disturb public peace and tranquillity, ” said a statement from Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

It said the chairman PEMRA, “in view of the above mentioned background and reasons, hereby prohibits broadcast of live speech of Mr. Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels with immediate effect.”

But the recorded speech would be permitted to be aired only after an “effective delay mechanism is put in place in order to ensure effective monitoring and editorial control in conformity with PEMRA laws,” it said.

Khan’s adviser, commonly known as his “chief of staff,” Shahbaz Gill, is on trial for painstakingly inciting mutiny in the armed forces.

The PTI, which gave a nationwide protest call on Saturday against Gill’s arrest, accuses police of “torturing” him to obtain a statement against the former premier.

The government and police have denied the charge.

Khan was ousted in a no-confidence vote by parliament in April.

He claims his government was ousted in a US-sponsored conspiracy, a charge Washington and Pakistan’s army reject.

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