The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Saturday restricted live coverage of events outside the Islamabad Judicial Complex, where PTI chairman Imran Khan will be arriving for a court hearing.

According to a statement, Pemra referred to the clashes between PTI workers and law enforcement personnel outside Imran’s Zaman Park residence, saying it had “observed with concern” that satellite TV channels were “showing live footages (sic) / images of a violent mob, attacks on police and law enforcing agencies”.

The ban comes after pitched battles between PTI supporters and law enforcement personnel spanning two days as the latter tried to execute a court-ordered arrest warrant.

In this file photo, PTI workers clash with police outside Imran’s Zaman Park residence. — M. Arif/ White Star
In this file photo, PTI workers clash with police outside Imran’s Zaman Park residence. — M. Arif/ White Star

It said the footage or images were seen on TV “without any editorial oversight during the recent standoff between political party workers and law enforcement agencies in Lahore wherein, the violent mob used petrol bombs, injuring armless (sic) policemen and blazing (sic) police vehicles”.

It added that the live telecast of such footage on different satellite TV channels “created chaos and panic” among viewers and the police. “Such activism by mob not only jeopardises law and order situation but also makes public properties and lives vulnerable”, it cautioned.

PTI workers stand outside Imran’s Zaman Park residence. — M. Arif/ White Star
PTI workers stand outside Imran’s Zaman Park residence. — M. Arif/ White Star

Pemra said airing such content would be in violation of several Supreme Court judgments.

The regulator, while exercising powers vested under Section 27(a) of the Pemra Ordinance 2002 as amended by Pemra (Amendment) Act 2007, “hereby prohibits live/recorded coverage of any kind of rally, public gathering, procession by any party, organisation and individual etc. for today i.e. March 18, 2023 including from the Judicial Complex, Islamabad”.

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