16 Pakistani journalists 'move IHC to unban Nawaz Sharif's speeches'

12:11 AM | 19 Nov, 2020
16 Pakistani journalists 'move IHC to unban Nawaz Sharif's speeches'

ISLAMABAD – Sixteen prominent journalists have reportedly filed a petition in Islamabad High Court (IHC) to allow airing the speeches and interviews of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif in the country.

They include Najam Sethi, Ziauddin, Nasim Zehra, Asma Sherazi, Gharida Faruqi, Munazie Jehangir, Saleem Safi, Mansoor Ali Khan and others.

The petition comes over a month after the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) banned broadcast and rebroadcast of any speech, interview or public address of absconders or proclaimed offenders.

The official Twitter handle of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was quick to respond: "Journalists are meant to be unbiased politically & not supposed to be a party worker."

Nawaz Sharif, the 70-year-old supreme leader of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N),  fiery speeches from London, had targeted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led government as well as many state institutions including judiciary and the military in his fiery speeches from London.

The regulatory body, in a statement, prohibited the broadcasting of content including commentary, opinions or suggestions about the potential fate of sub-judice matter which tends to prejudice the determination by a court and a tribunal in compliance with the order passed by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

"If licensee fails to comply with the aforementioned directives, the authority shall take action under Section 29 and 30 of PEMRA Ordinance which may result in imposition of fine and suspension/revocation of licence," it added.

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Sharif had left for London late last year after securing bail for medical treatment in the Chaudhry Sugar Mills case and the Al Azizia reference.

The Supreme Court, on July 28, 2017 had disqualified Nawaz in the Panama Papers case and ordered the NAB to file separate cases which were respectively called Avenfiled, Al-Azizia and Flagship references.

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