ISLAMABAD : To preserve peace and tranquilly in the nation, the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) has forbidden television broadcasters from airing stories about “hate mongers, perpetrators, and their facilitators.”

The regulatory body calls for assuring the provision of the right to freedom of speech and expression to people in its most recent instructions to television stations, although it is subject to reasonable constraints set by law in the interest of the nation.

“Every citizen shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, as well as freedom of the press, subject to any reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of the glory of Islam or the integrity, security, or defence of Pakistan or any part thereof, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency, or morality, or in relation to contempt of court, [commission]

The article said, “It is critical to find a compromise between safeguarding free expression and upholding public order. Speech restrictions are often implemented during riots or other disturbances in order to stop the violence from becoming worse and protect the public’s safety and wellbeing.

Pemra also brought up the happenings on May 9 when demonstrations broke out throughout a number of locations after the arrest of a political party leader. The PTI employees vandalised military buildings during the rallies.

It said that “politically charged up zealots of political party” assaulted government buildings and other public spaces, put innocent lives in jeopardy, and supported anti-state groups in an effort to destabilise the nation and its institutions.

The notice condemned the acts and warned all satellite TV channel licensees not to unintentionally support any hate mongers, offenders, or their facilitators in light of the aforementioned circumstances.

The regulating board had instructed the networks to refrain from endorsing hatemongers, saying that those who plot and carry out acts of hateful violence should not be given publicity on television and that violent, discriminating material should not be broadcast.

“The licensee shall ensure that nothing is contained in any programme, or an advertisement, which is prejudicial to the interests of the sovereignty and integrity of Pakistan, its ideology, security, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, or which may constitute contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence, or which brings into disrepute the State institutions, including the armed forces,” the notification stated.

Additionally, it ordered all television networks “to adhere to [the] provisions of PEMRA laws and orders of the superior courts by refraining from providing their airtime to such individuals who propagate hate speech and provoke public sentiments against the Federation and State Institutions.” In order to effectively monitor the information being transmitted live, it also urged the broadcasters to utilise a time delay technique.

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