Political parties, journalists denounce govt’s attempts to gag media

Suspension of 24NewsHD TV's license by Pemra triggers nationwide protests, condemnations

By: News Desk
Published: 10:05 PM, 5 Jul, 2020
Political parties, journalists denounce govt’s attempts to gag media
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Religious and political parties, civil society groups, lawyers and people from almost every walk of life have joined the countrywide protests against the attacks on the freedom of the press by the government and its media regulator, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).

As part of the PTI government’s efforts to suppress the truth, Pemra on July 3 suspended the licence of 24NewsHD TV. Participants in the protest rallies on Sunday raised slogans against the government and Pemra and described the move as an attack on the freedom of the media.

Reacting to the governments’ move, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) spokesperson Mariyum Aurangzeb said it has been proved that Imran Khan is a cruel and fascist ruler and he has nothing to with democracy. In the Imran government, she said, the country, parliament, economy, businesses and the media have all been shut down.

Talking to the media, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Fazlur Rehman said that suspension of 24NewsHD TV’s licence showed the government was in a panic. He said the media was an important pillar of Pakistan and its freedom was essential.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA from Dera Ismail Khan (PP-243) Sardar Ahmad Ali Khan Dreshak, who is also chairman of the Punjab Land Records Authority, visited 24NewsHD office in DI Khan along with his party’s district president. He said, “24NewsHD TV is my favourite channel and I appeal to Pemra and the government to restore the channel’s licence immediately. The 24NewsHD TV has always done positive reporting.”

The Swat Union of Journalists staged a protest demonstration outside the Swat Press Club against the suspension of 24NewsHD TV channel’s licence. Similar protests were organised outside Hyderabad Press Club, Sheikhupura Press Club and Phool Nagar Press Club.

Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) chief Siraj ul Haq condemned suspension of 24NewsHD TV channel’s licence. He was addressing a press conference in Lahore after a meeting of Jamaat-e-Islami’s Central Executive Committee (Majlis-e-Amla) in Mansoora. Sirajul Haq said the government has been consistently trying to pressurise the media. He condemned the government’s decision to suspend 24NewsHD TVs’ licence.