Islamabad [Pakistan], September 3 (ANI): The transmission of ARY News has been restored in several cities following the orders of the Islamabad High Court to immediately restore the transmission of the Pakistani TV channel on Friday.
The channel is back on air in several cities of the country including Islamabad, Lahore and Sukkur though complete restoration is still pending. The Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) has also restored the channel in Lahore and Karachi, ARY News reported.
The development comes after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed PEMRA to restore transmission of ARY NEWS on cable in an hour and warned action against the chairman of the regulatory authority in case of non-compliance.
Chief Justice IHC Athar Minallah led the proceedings of a petition against the suspension of ARY News transmission on cable. He ordered Information Secretary Shahera Shahid and Pemra Chairman Saleem Baig to appear before the court on Monday and explain why the channel was taken off air on Aug 8 and why no measures were taken to restore it.
"If the channel is not restored in an hour then PEMRA chairman will have to appear before the court on Monday," the chief justice warned.
The chief justice had taken up a petition moved by a number of journalists working for ARY Communications. The petition was moved by Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and Gohar Ali Khan on behalf of journalist Azhar Farooq and others, who said the Aug 8 suspension of ARY News transmission had put their livelihood in danger.
The transmission of ARY News was suspended for the last 23 days by PEMRA.
On August 25, the Sindh High Court (SHC) issued a contempt of court notice to Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) chairman Saleem Baig on a petition over the non-implementation of the court's order to restore the ARY News broadcast.
It is pertinent to mention that in a new move against the journalist fraternity, the Ministry of Interior cancelled the NOC of ARY News without serving any notice.
The notification issued, dated August 11 to the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) reads: "The NOC issued in favour of M/S ARY Communications Private (Ltd). is cancelled with immediate effect and until further orders on the basis of adverse reports from agencies."
Earlier, on August 10, 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.
In the 10-page order, the Sindh High Court suspended the show-cause notice issued to ARY News by PEMRA. The court also stopped the media regulatory authority from suspending the license of TV channels till the next hearing, reported ARY News.
Prior to the issuance of the notice, ARY News went off the air in many parts of the country.
ARY News' transmission was suspended in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot, Hyderabad, Faisalabad, and other cities.
The entire episode was perpetuated due to a news piece aired by the channel on how the ruling Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) has reportedly activated its strategic media cell to malign Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman and the country's former prime minister Imran Khan.
The PEMRA issued a show-cause notice to ARY News for airing what it called "false, hateful and seditious content."
The court also issued notice to PEMRA and the deputy attorney general and adjourned the hearing until August 17, ARY News reported.
Soon it was revealed that PEMRA had ordered the suspension over a statement given by a Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Shehbaz Gill among other reasons, the ARY News distanced itself from Gill's statement and issued a statement on the matter.
Gill was arrested for "making statements against the state institutions and inciting the people to rebellion," according to the police.
The Human Rights Commission in Pakistan (HRCP) has strongly opposed the disruptions to ARY News and asked the country's regulatory authorities not to take channels off the air arbitrarily. (ANI)