Suspension of ARY news: senate seeks details on position of television channels
ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting has sought details from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on the positions of TV Channels on the issue raised by ARY News regarding the blockage of its transmission.
According to details, Senate committee chairman Faisal Javed Khan chaired the meeting – which was attended by Secretary of Information and Broadcasting, PEMRA officials and journalists.
The meeting was also apprised of the actions taken against senior journalists and anchors while the committee sought details from the watchdog on the position of TV channels.
Speaking during the meeting, Faisal Javed said that the freedom of expression in the country was under attack and restrictions were being imposed. He asked whether the position of ARY News was being changed or its transmission was suspended.
“FIRs have been registered against several journalists and TV anchors. Who is running the Ministry of Information currently?” the chairman asked. Secretary Information responded that Marriyum Aurangzeb was running the ministry.
Meanwhile, Chairman PEMRA told Faisal Javed to call Khalid Arain and ask him if the regulatory authority asked him to close the channel. To which, the Senator responded, “If you can open the channel, you can close it too.”
However, Chairman PEMRA, answered in negative and said the authority was taking action against those who suspended the ARY News’ transmission.
In this regard, the committee sought details from PEMRA on the position of TV channels on cable and also the details of advertisements issued to TV channels in the next meeting.
Briefing the meeting, ARY News anchor Arshad Sharif said that some individuals and organizations have started working as the state. “IGs of KP and Balochistan should be called and asked how FIRs were registered against journalists. We want to live in this country according to the constitution and law,” he added.
Arshad Sharif further said that transmission of ARY News was suspended, which was restored on the orders of Islamabad High Court. He noted that the transmission was again blocked in several cantonments of the country, which is a violation of court orders.
The participants of the Senate committee also pointed out that FIRs have also been registered against more journalists. Faisal Javed directed the Ministry of Information to take steps to protect journalists and their families.
Source: ARY News