On Friday, the Interior Ministry canceled the no-objection certificate (NOC) of ARY News, citing “adverse reports from agencies” as the reason behind the decision. The notification issued by the Interior Ministry, dated August 11, to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) reads: “The NOC issued in favor of M/S ARY Communications Private (Ltd). is canceled with immediate effect and until further orders on the basis of adverse reports from agencies.”
Canceling the NOC of ARY News Will Result in the Economic Murder of Over 4000 Workers
Reporting on the development, ARY News’ English website called the cancellation by “the coalition government led by PML-N” an “economic murder of more than 4,000 media workers associated with the news channel”. The report also called it “a new move against the journalist fraternity”, saying this was done without any notice. “The channel’s administration condemned the suspension of its transmissions, saying the network is being victimized by the federal government,” it added.
Moreover, the decision of canceling the NOC of Ary News from the Interior Ministry comes two days after the Sindh High Court directed Pemra and cable operators to immediately restore the transmission of ARY News, which had been suspended on orders of the government. ARY News embroiled into a controversy after PTI leader Shahbaz Gill allegedly uttered “seditious remarks” against the Pakistan Army while talking to the TV channel earlier this week.
PTI Leader Shahbaz Gill Has Been Taken into Custody at Banigala Chowk Over Seditious Remarks
Later on, Tuesday, PTI leader Shahbaz Gill was taken into custody at Banigala Chowk in the capital. Gill was subsequently booked on charges of sedition and inciting the public against state institutions. The ARY report published today also highlighted that the channel had issued a clarification that Gill’s statement was his personal opinion and had nothing to do with the channel’s policy.
Hours after Gill’s arrest, Pemra had issued a show-cause notice to ARY News for airing his controversial remarks, which the authority described as “highly hateful and seditious” and tantamount to inciting the “armed forces towards revolt”.