Lahore/Islamabad: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Thursday lifted a government ban on satellite channels broadcasting speeches and press conferences by ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) banned Pakistani party leader Tehreek-e-Insaf’s speeches last week after a cricketer-turned-politician attacked former army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa in a speech to his supporters in Lahore.
“Lahore High Court Judge Shamas Mahmood Mirza has lifted PEMRA’s ban on broadcasting speeches and press conferences of Pakistan’s Tehreek-e-Insaf President Imran Khan,” a court official told PTI after the hearing on Tuesday Thursday.
He said the High Court in Lahore had ordered the ban lifted with immediate effect.
The court ruled on the former Prime Minister’s motion against the ban imposed by PEMRA.
Judge Mirza delivered the verdict, remanded the case for trial to the full court, and adjourned the case until March 13.
Counsel for Ahmad Pansota, Khan’s attorney, argued that PEMRA issued the contested order outside of its jurisdiction without considering the constitutional rights guaranteed by art. 19 and 19-A of the Constitution.
Pansota said the Islamabad High Court ruling issued a similar injunction against the petitioner on similar grounds to the ultra vires order.
He added that PEMRA took unlawful and unlawful action against the petitioner without thinking twice and at the instigation of the ruling political party in the federation to settle the political disputes.
Imran Khan is politically harassed by PEMRA for not breaking the law.The contested ban violates Article 10-A of the Constitution and can be overturned. said Pansota.
Khan, 70, has come under fire for his repeated criticism of the establishment for failing to save his government, which was toppled in a no-confidence vote last year.