PEMRA restores news channels

Channels re-opened on PM’s directives: Marriyum

Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on Sunday ordered the resumption of all private news channels.
The media watchdog had ordered all news channels off air, and also barred live coverage of the Islamabad sit-in. News channels were also instructed to ensure the security of their staff during the ongoing law and order situation across the nation.
A spokesman PEMRA said that the Code of Conduct had also been sent to the Pakistan Broadcasters Association. PEMRA can take action against any violations and suspend transmission.
The PEMRA chairman had received a notification from the Ministry of Information regarding restoration.
The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) had blocked popular social media sites as Facebook, Twitter as well as Instagram and video-sharing websites YouTube and Dailymotion.
PEMRA had on Saturday barred media from live coverage of the Islamabad Operation under ‘Media Code of Conduct 2015’ and instructed to show “utmost sensitivity” and refrain from coverage of the operation.
The PBA had strongly condemned the closure of news channels by the government. The All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) and other journalist bodies also expressed concern over the sudden closure of TV channels transmission.
Social media platforms were blocked in Pakistan as a result of countrywide protests against Faizabad sit-in operation.
On the other hand, security operation against Faizabad protesters is continuing with Rangers leading police and Frontier Corps (FC).
Minister of State for Information, Broadcasting, National History and Literary Heritage Marriyum Aurangzeb has said that the transmissions of television channels have been restored in pursuance of the directive of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbassi.
The minister, in a statement issued here Sunday, said that suspending the transmissions was a tough and painful decision, which had to be taken in the national interest after exhaustive deliberations with a view to prevent the spread of chaos and anarchy in the country.
The step was a sequel to incitement of commotion by certain TV channels, she added.. She said that the government firmly believed in the freedom of expression and the only objective behind the
move was to ensure national security.
Marriyum said that the national interest and security were shared responsibility. Ensuring freedom of expression is the obligation of the state but using its responsibly is a far greater responsibility, she added.
The MOS pointed out that the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government had a verifiable record of striving for freedom of expression. Everybody is working for national security and ensuring the safety of the lives and property of the citizens, she added. The minister said that the Prime Minister had ordered the revival of the transmission after an agreement on the code of conduct with regard to reporting.—APP

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