ISLAMABAD: After repeated warnings and intimations issued to Bol News and Bol Entertainment since their licence expired in December 2021, Pemra on Monday suspended the broadcast of the channels.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) at its meeting noted that the licence had expired in December 2021 and yet Bol News had been continuing its transmission.

In reply to a query, a Pemra official said the company had obtained a stay order from the Sindh High Court in response to the notices issued by the regulator.

The meeting, presided over by Pemra Chairman Muhammad Saleem Baig, noted that despite several intimations and notices, the company did not submit any application for renewal of its licence.

It also took up a letter written by the interior ministry to Pemra recently, saying the parent company of the two channels, M/s Labbaik Private Ltd, did not have security clearance from the authorities.

Responding to a query why Pemra did not shut down the channels after the disposal of the case by the SHC, the official said the regulator could only make a decision after the formal status was received from the interior ministry.

Later, PTI chief Imran Khan came out in favour of the channel. “Imported government has taken media and journalists’ censorship & persecution to fascistic levels. Bol has been suspended simply because it gave us coverage. Message to all media houses is to blackout the largest & most popular national political party from mainstream media — Unacceptable,” he tweeted.

Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2022

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