The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) on Sunday ordered that all private news channels be allowed to resume transmission, and all social media websites be unblocked, a day after they were blocked in Islamabad and other parts of the country.

The private news channels were taken off-air in the capital and other parts of the country on Saturday as Pemra issued a notification prohibiting live coverage of the operation to end the Faizabad sit-in.

A notification from Pemra announced on Sunday that all news and current affairs satellite TV channels have "immediately been restored".

"All distribution networks have been directed to restore these channels on their original positions immediately," the Pemra press release said.

Read more: Pemra guidelines for media houses in wake of Faizabad crackdown

The federal government also issued a policy directive asking Pemra to take channels off air if they violate the agreed-upon guidelines regarding coverage of the Faizabad sit-in in Islamabad, as well as protests elsewhere in the country.

Pemra, on Saturday, had ordered channels to abide by Clause 8 (8) of the Electronic Media (Programmes and Advertisement) Code of Conduct 2015, to show "utmost sensitivity" and refrain from coverage of the operation.

"This channel is suspended on orders of Pemra," read a message appearing on multiple news channels.

Social media websites to be unblocked

A PTA spokesperson told DawnNews on Sunday that social media websites will be unblocked all over the country, as directed by the authority.

Facebook, YouTube, DailyMotion, Twitter and Instagram had been blocked in some parts of the country on Saturday just as Pemra took private news channels off air.

A source told DawnNews that various social media sites had been blocked on Saturday on the Interior Ministry's orders in light of the sensitive security situation in the country.

The PTA source had said at the time that internet services in Faizabad and the surrounding areas have also been suspended.

Meanwhile, citizens have expressed anger over the suspension of services, with many accusing the government of clamping down on the media.

Follow's live coverage of the Islamabad operation here.



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