PEMRA imposes blanket ban on Imran’s speeches

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) has imposed a blanket ban on broadcasting live or recorded speeches of former prime minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan on all satellite TV channels.

“It has been observed that Imran Khan, Chairman Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, in his speeches/statements is continuously… levelling 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 tranquility,” read an order issued by the media regulatory authority on Sunday.

Earlier, the Islamabad Police failed to arrest PTI Chairman Imran Khan when they raided his Zaman Park residence in Lahore on Sunday with court summons to take him into custody in Toshakhana case.

A large number of PTI workers were gathered when the Islamabad Police along with their Punjab Police counterparts arrived at Zaman Park but the law enforcers were informed that the PTI chief was present at his residence.

The Islamabad police left the venue empty handed at around 1:30pm but at around 5pm Imran Khan made a televised address to his supporters from Zaman Park.

In a series of tweets, the Islamabad Police said an operation to arrest Imran was being conducted with the cooperation of the Lahore police. It stated that the PTI chief was “avoiding” the arrest, adding that the superintendent of police had “gone into Imran’s room but he was not present there”.

It said adding that legal action would be taken against those obstructing the execution of court orders. Separately, Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Akbar Nasir said that the police had delivered the court’s notice to Imran and confirmed that it had to be received.

Addressing his party’s supporters, Imran paid tribute to his activists for their “successful court arrest movement” and said, “only a nation, and not a group” could confront the challenges being faced by the country”.

Equating his cause with a holy mission, he said that “jihad for true freedom” would continue. Imran stressed he was “not going to bow in front of anyone and nor would allow anyone else [from his party and supporters] to do so”.

Lashing at the rulers, the PTI chief alleged that they had stashed their wealth overseas and were given protection in legal cases by former army chief Gen (retd) Qamar Javed Bajwa.

He also renewed his allegation that Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and an intelligence official were behind the Wazirabad’s attack. About Toshakana reference, the PTI chairman demanded a public trial to the case against him.

He also bashed the political opponents over the ECL and said, “I will not be afraid if my name is placed on the ECL.” Later, a letter was penned by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, which bore the signature of PTI Vice Chairman Shah Mahmood Qureshi and PTI Secretary General Asad Umar, requesting the Chief Justice to allow Imran Khan to appear virtually before various courts.

Meanwhile, the PTI legal team comprising senior leader Fawad Chaudhry and Advocate Azhar Siddique arrived at the Lahore High Court seeking Imran’s protective bail but could not file the petition due to the absence of the registrar’s office staff.

The petitionprays to the court to grant protective bail to the PTI chief for a period of at least 15 days so he could approach the concerned sessions court in Islamabad.

Furthermore, in a press conference outside Imran’s residence, PTI leader FawadChaudhry said that Imran Khan was their ‘red line’ and if they cross it, there will be a protest that Pakistan has never seen before,” Fawad added