A Reuters survey on Monday showed that coverage of former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan disappeared from all major news channels in the country after the media regulator asked networks to ban people involved in riots last month.
The regulator last week issued a directive seen by Reuters citing violent protests in Pakistan last month after Khan’s brief arrest and which saw military installations looted, by supporters of the former prime minister.
the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) asked holders of broadcast television licenses to ensure that “mongers of hate, rioters, facilitators and perpetrators” are “completely excluded from the media”. He did not refer directly to Khan.
However, coverage of the former prime minister – Pakistan’s most popular leader according to opinion polls – disappeared to the point where his name and photograph were not broadcast. He also disappeared from news websites.
PEMRA officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment and inquiries about whether the directive related to Khan, and whether the directive was intended as a blanket ban.
Khan He has long been the most broadcasted politician in Pakistan, with his speeches and rallies receiving universal coverage and wide viewership.
The ban comes amid a broader crackdown on Khan and his party that has seen dozens of his party members and thousands of supporters arrested, and which, he says, is being carried out by the country’s powerful military.
The army did not respond to Khan’s request for comment on the allegation. It had earlier denied planning to remove him from power in a parliamentary vote last year.
Khan himself was arrested on graft charges but released after two days after the courts deemed his method of detention illegal. He’s still out of jail on bail, but he’s facing dozens of cases.
Khan said in an interview that the violent incidents were used as a “pretext” for a “total ban” on him and his party.
“We can’t be mentioned on TV,” said Khan, who now speaks regularly on his party’s YouTube channel.
Senior officials at four major news channels did not respond to a request for comment.
until ARY NewsKhan’s channel, considered pro-Khan by the former prime minister’s political opponents, did not mention Monday, despite his confrontation with the army that has dominated headlines globally for weeks.
“Reports of the blocking of all news related to Imran Khan are the latest in a series of disturbing steps taken by the authorities to suppress dissent,” it added. Dinushika dissanayakeAmnesty International’s deputy director for South Asia said in a statement.


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