ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Tuesday allowed anchorperson Dr Amir Liaquat Hussain to conduct his show on a private television channel, suspending the ban imposed on his programme by Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).

Pemra had banned Amir Liaquat’s show Aisay Nahi Chalay Ga for ‘hate speech’ in January. Following the court order, the show went on air on Tuesday night.

IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, while suspending the ban, observed that “prima facie, impugned order is motivated and has been passed unilaterally; therefore, it is suspended”.

He summoned Pemra chairman Absar Alam on March 7 with the direction to bring a detailed report regarding imposition of ban the Pemra imposed in a year on anchorpersons, guests, and self-proclaimed intellectuals for propagating against ideology of Pakistan, religion, state institutions like judiciary, army and the Constitution.

Before Pemra slapped the ban on Amir Liaquat, he was already facing criticism for leveling allegations of blasphemy against some bloggers in his programme.

The court, however, directed the anchorperson to restrain himself from showing blasphemous contents in his programme.

The court order said: “It is the state’s responsibility to take action against the persons involved in such activity, so that they may be dealt with in accordance with law.”

On Monday, the same court directed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) to block websites containing blasphemous material.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2017

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