May 03, 2017
ISLAMABAD: Regulator PEMRA’s decision to cancel BOL licenses on World Press Freedom Day was condemned by many on social media while others recalled the channel’s role in promoting hate speech.
PTI leader Shafqat Mehmood, who appears in a program on BOL, termed PEMRA “an agent of the Sharifs.” He added “Closing down channels like BOL that expose their corruption and that too on press freedom day. Wah”
As Arshad Sharif termed PEMRA “a political lackey of #Panama tainted #Nawaz govt”, social activist Jibran Nasir said: “Yes false blasphemy allegations, endangering lives with hate speech, and not having security clearances are all pillars of Freedom of Press.”
Nasir had run a campaign against BOL program Aisay Nahin Chaley Ga, hosted by Aamir Liaqat.
PPP leader Sherry Rehman said on the Press Freedom Day, the government’s “message is to shut down a channel, in this case Bol.”
However, Nasir again recalled that the political leaders should have also spoken “when BOL accused people of blasphemy, apostasy, treason & adultery.”
Another PPP leader Nafisa Shah in her tweet said the ban was “absolutely deplorable.”
PPP Senator Saeed Ghani also condemned the decision. “Strongly condemn the cancellation of licence of #BOLTV, on #WorldPressFreedomDay it is a shameful act PML-N Govt. #BOLkoBolnayDo”
Geo anchor Talat Hussain only reproduced the image of PEMRA press release announcing the ban on Bol TV. Ahmad Noorani seemed to be thanking PEMRA, saying “Finally govt responds. Cancels both the licenses of BoL News.”
Talat Aslam, Senior Editor at The News Karachi, refused to support Bol TV. “Sorry but I can't support a dodgy channel spewing lies, hate speech, blasphemy charges 24/7.Press freedom isn't abt getting opponents killed.”
In a tongue-in-cheek comment on Facebook, columnist Zaigham Khan hinted that the government not happy with the army has decided to punish the channel – “ghusa general per shamat hawaldar ki.”
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