September 02, 2022
ISLAMABAD—Electronic media regulator PEMRA began restoring the transmission of ARY News 24 days after it took down the channel for airing a controversial comment.
PEMRA acted following an Islamabad High Court (IHC) order by Chief Justice Athar Minallah Friday, who directed the regulator to restore the channel within one hour.
The regulator appeared to dilly-dally after the IHC's order on Thursday to bring the channel back on the airwaves.
ARY News was taken off cable networks on August 8 after it aired a comment by PTI leader Shahbaz Gill, seen by some as inciting mutiny within the armed forces. Gill was later arrested and is still in jail.
An earlier ruling by the Sindh High Court to resume the channel's transmission fell on deaf ears.
Journalist unions, including PFUJ and RIUJ, led the protests for restoring ARY News. They camped outside PEMRA offices for three days to press the regulator to bring the channel back on the air.
On Wednesday, ARY News sacked Arshad Sharif, the face of the channel, for what the management said was a violation of its employee social media code of conduct.
ARY said its code of conduct clearly states that any posts by an employee on social media strictly have to be under the company's policy.
Some reports said the managers made Sharif a scapegoat so that the channel, under a ban since August 8, could return to the airwaves.
Sharif joined ARY from Dunya News in 2014. He fled the country in early August after an FIR was registered against him.
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