August 15, 2022
ISLAMABAD—Daily Dawn on Monday asked the federal government to “step back from taking actions to enable Pemra to bring down the curtain on any channel, and render thousands of media workers jobless.”
Commenting editorially on the interior ministry withdrawing the ARY News’s security clearance, followed by PEMRA revoking the channel’s operating license, the paper said the government had overreacted to the degree that has given ammunition to PTI to accuse it of ‘fascism’ and disregard of constitutional rights.
It also reminded the coalition government that when it was in the opposition, it used to “accuse its predecessor of throttling freedom of speech.” But with this step, the paper said the federal government had outdone the PTI government’s excesses against the media in one fell swoop.
Dawn feared that the banning of the channel would set a dangerous precedent. “If one TV channel is banned today, the same treatment can be meted out to other ‘offending’ media outlets tomorrow using the same broadly framed ‘reasonable restrictions to the right to freedom of speech in Article 19 of the Constitution.”
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