Imran wants to address nation on PTV
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) on Friday asked the management of Pakistan Television (PTV) to allocate airtime for party chairman Imran Khan to address the nation on the Panama Papers leak.
PTI information secretary Naeemul Haq wrote to acting PTV managing director Imran Gardezi, stating that the names of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s family members had appeared in the leaks.
In order to defend his position, the PM addressed the nation via PTV on April 5 to explain his family’s personal position over the allegations. “You are well aware of the fact that the PTV, being the largest terrestrial television network of the country, runs solely on taxpayer money.”
The letter said since the publication of the Panama Leaks the world over, the prime minister, the federal information minister and a number of MNAs belonging to the PML-N had been used PTV to spread disinformation about Shaukat Khanum Hospital.
This was tantamount to using the network for political or personal interest.
The letter said it was the right of the PTI chief to also address the nation via the PTV network to respond to allegations regarding Shaukat Khanum Hospital and explain his position on the Panama Leaks.
The PTV chief was requested to make necessary arrangements for the live address of the PTI chief to the nation on April 10 at 6pm. It was further stated that Mr Khan would address the nation from his office.
Despite repeated attempts, the MD PTV could not be reached for comment.
Separately, Information Minister Pervaiz Rasheed told reporters on Friday that it was the prerogative of the National Assembly speaker to allow PTV to telecast parliamentary proceedings. Whenever such a directive was issued, PTV covered the proceedings, he said.
The minister also maintained that only the president and prime minister could address the nation through PTV. “If Imran Khan is allowed to use PTV for being an MNA, then over 400 MNAs and senators would demand the same privilege.”
Senior PPP leader Saeed Ghani told Dawn that though addressing the nation was something different, every politician had the right to speak on state television.
“The prime minister used PTV to defend his children. Even MNAs are using the network to defend the Sharif family. So Mr Khan can also be allowed to speak on the PTV. It can be declared a ‘public talk’ rather than an address to the nation,” Mr Ghani added.