The Lahore High Court suspended on Monday an order from the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banning Channel 24. During the hearing, the PEMRA lawyer stated that the competent authority issued the order to ban the channel. The bench, therefore, questioned the counsel if the responsible body was greater than the trial.
“Tomorrow’s meeting minutes will be tabled, then the court can rule [on the matter],” the LHC said. Justice Sajid Mahmood of LHC issued the order to remove the ban and adjourned the hearing of the case until Wednesday and demanded that the regulator send its reply in that matter.
In a letter to Speaker AsadQaiser, Shehbaz Sharif claimed that he is seeking, as the opposition leader, that the ban on Channel 24 is removed immediately. Sharif also requested the unconditional release of the Jang-Geo editor-in-chief Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman.
The National Assembly opposition leader also requested Speaker Qaiser to create a parliamentary committee to address problems pertaining to the rule of law. He added that the committee should look into the injustices that are being done to the media industry.
The president of the PML-N recommended that the parliamentary committee listen to complaints from media representatives and journalists’ organizations and make suggestions on the issue. “I hope you make a decision with respect to democracy and the fourth pillar of the state, and above party affiliation and the prime minister ‘s pressure,” Shehbaz said in the letter. He added that one should hear the voice of the people, not shut down.