Pak authority stops Labaik TV channel’s broadcast

The licences issued to Labbaik Private Limited were cancelled by the authority in 2017 and happened due to the non-issuance of security clearance by the Interior Ministry….reports Asian Lite News

After ARY news, Labaik Private Limited’s TV channel broadcasts were stopped on Monday with an immediate effect in light of a court order and letters written by the Ministry of Interior.

The Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) stopped the broadcast of Labaik TV channels after its 15-year licence period expired in December 2021, reported The News International.

Moreover, the company has not submitted any application to the authority for renewal.

The 174th meeting of the PEMRA was held to review the issues related to licences issued to Bol News and Bol Entertainment.

The licences issued to Labbaik Private Limited were cancelled by the authority in 2017 and happened due to the non-issuance of security clearance by the Interior Ministry.

The PEMRA’s order was pending with the Sindh High Court on behalf of the company and the channels continued their broadcasts. However, the SHC disposed of the pending case in 2021.

During the hearing, the PEMRA’s counsel made it clear that if the Interior Ministry did not issue a security clearance to Labbaik Private Limited, it would not be allowed to broadcast its two channels, according to The News International.

Therefore, the authority reviewed all the records of the court order and the letters issued by the Ministry of Interior and ordered stop the broadcast of the two channels with immediate effect.

Earlier, on August 9, ARY News was suspended in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Sialkot, Hyderabad, Faisalabad and other cities.

However, after 23 days of being suspended, the transmission of ARY News has been restored in several cities following the orders of the Islamabad High Court.

The channel is back on air in several cities of the country including Islamabad, Lahore and Sukkur complete restoration is still pending. The Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) has also restored the channel in Lahore and Karachi, ARY News reported.

The development comes after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) directed PEMRA to restore transmission of ARY NEWS on cable in an hour and warned action against the chairman of the regulatory authority in case of non-compliance.

Chief Justice IHC Athar Minallah led the proceedings of a petition against the suspension of ARY News transmission on cable. He ordered Information Secretary Shahera Shahid and Pemra Chairman Saleem Baig to appear before the court on Monday and explain why the channel was taken off air on Aug 8 and why no measures were taken to restore it.

“If the channel is not restored in an hour then PEMRA chairman will have to appear before the court on Monday,” the chief justice warned.

The chief justice had taken up a petition moved by a number of journalists working for ARY Communications. The petition was moved by Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan and Gohar Ali Khan on behalf of journalist Azhar Farooq and others, who said the Aug 8 suspension of ARY News transmission had put their livelihood in danger. (ANI)

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