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Categorized Human Rights Media Politics

From Maryam’s Presser And Rally To Taking Three TV Channels Off Air

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Three TV channels were taken off air Monday on PEMRA’s directives – a day after PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz addressed a rally in Mandi Bahauddin. Their crime: telecasting the event live.

A day earlier, Maryam had held a press conference in which she shared a video which allegedly shown the accountability judge, Arshad Malik, confessing that he was pressured to convict the three-time prime minister Nawaz Sharif.

Soon after the Sunday’s presser, the PEMRA had issued show-cause notices to TV channels for showing the event.


Read more: Maryam Nawaz Tells ‘What Censorship Looks Like’


But wait! One of these three TV channels is Capital TV which is one of few not telecasting Maryam’s presser live. “They did show her rally but censored the parts which the power to be and PEMRA have told channels are off limits, which makes this move very confusing,” said a source.

“Capital TV coverage was so, so funny yesterday.  We censored some parts of Maryam’s rally and still we are being not allowed to be on air. We keep national interest in mind. Some channels didn’t censor Maryam’s rally but they are still up,” the source said, quoting someone from the Capital TV.

“Maybe this was done to send a message to channels if we can stop coverage of those who do things as we say so anyone who crosses the imaginary lines should expect worse,” the source added.

Meanwhile, there is another aspect. “What makes this presser more interesting is that no serious attempts were made by the powers to be to stop its coverage,” the source noted.

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There was a point when nearly all channels had no audio from presser and the source feels that “it was due the fact the video isn’t that much audible but some say at that point channels were told to stop coverage.”

But after that no attempt to interrupt the presser was made as the presser went on, the source said, adding that it was an interesting fact that former president Asif Ali Zardari’s interview wasn’t allowed to be aired just few days before that.


Read more: Surviving As A Writer In The Era Of Censorship


According to the source, only a fool would deny that we don’t have a controlled media. Now considering all this one would have many questions about why the live coverage of the presser wasn’t stopped.

For this purpose, the source presented two theories. “1) Division in the camp of the powers to be – which is the weakest and easily refutable” and “2) The powers to be were actually happy to let the presser go on as it puts a pressure on Prime Minister Imran Khan.”

According to the source, the second theory makes more sense as no one from them is being named anywhere in the video. “If both theories are combined it would be very much in Imran Khan’s interest that he should continue working along the establishment.”

To prove the argument, the source cited this news item. “Informed sources said the alleged material in Part-II was far more shocking than Part-I. However, as against the general perception, the names included in Part-II neither belong to Pindi nor to Aabpara.” https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/495242-what-part-ii-of-alleged-video-contains

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But why! “Rising economic woes and diverse opposition groups coming closer can cause many headaches.  Having army brass in his corner is important to weather any storm.  He would prefer to continue with known entity than venture into unchartered territory.” https://csio-ops-csio.blogspot.com/2019/07/pakistan-army-isi-judges-dead-end-for.html

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