PTI challenges ban on live coverage of Imran’s speeches

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Former ruling party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has challenged the ban imposed by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) on the live coverage of former prime minister and PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s speeches in the Sindh and Lahore High Courts.

PTI Sindh leader Ali Zaidi filed on Wednesday a constitutional petition in the SHC, in which he argued that the PEMRA’s notification was illegal. “The ban imposed on the live coverage of Imran Khan’s speeches amounts to a ban on freedom of speech,” he said, and added, “Therefore, it is prayed to the court to not only declare the notification illegal but also suspend it until and unless the fate of this petition is decided.

The ban on Imran Khan’s speeches was also challenged in the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Wednesday. Justice Anwaar Hussain of the LHC asked Muhammad Khan Madni, the petitioner, to give arguments on the admissibility of the petition on the next date of the hearing.

The judge asked him to satisfy the court whether ‘freedom of expression’ was the right of the speaker only or also of the listener. In his petition, Madni, a member of PTI, who had contested the general elections of 2013 on the party’s ticket for NA-119, made the federal government and the PEMRA respondents, and said that Imran was not only the PTI chairman but also the country’s most popular leader by virtue of votes he had received in the last two general elections as well as in the recently held by-elections. “And in the present situation, he is addressing large public gatherings,” he said, and added that both local and foreign media had been covering his rallies live.—INP

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