Pakistan’s media regulator has banned television channels from broadcasting speeches and news conferences by former Prime Minister Imran Khan, accusing the former cricket star of attacking the state’s institutions and promoting hatred.
The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) imposed the ban on Sunday after Khan delivered a speech in the eastern city of Lahore, where he alleged that former army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa was behind his removal from power in April last year.
The cricketer-turned-politician made the speech after police from the capital Islamabad made an attempt to arrest him in a corruption case. Khan, who denies the charges, evaded the arrest.
Khan was “levelling baseless allegations and spreading hate speech through his provocative statements against state institutions and officers which is prejudicial to the maintenance of law and order and is likely to disturb public peace and tranquility,” states the PEMRA in its notification. This was the third time the PEMRA has restricted TV channels from airing Khan’s speeches since he lost the premiership and started organizing mass rallies to demand immediate national elections.